Puddles

The life of this local duck has been documented in a children’s book, “A Duck Named Puddles,” written by Emporium natives Cathy Ostrum Swarmer and Susie Singer. This book will be among those available at a book-signing event this Saturday at Aroma Cafe & Restaurant in Emporium. This is also the kick-off event for the partnership between Hometown Mentors Inc. and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Saturday will be a day to celebrate books in Emporium.

Two book-related events will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Aroma Cafe & Restaurant: a book-signing and a kick-off for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program.

Thanks to funding by the Cameron County commissioners, Hometown Mentors Inc. is now partnering with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, according to Cathy Swarmer, HMI’s volunteer executive director.

She said the book-signing will feature several three local authors who are all Emporium natives: Susie Singer, Barbara Williams Ryan and Ken Ostrum. Their books are published by HMI.

HMI is an Emporium-based nonprofit that seeks to improve the local community.

Singer is the author of “A Duck Named Puddles,” Ryan is author of “The Mysterious Monster on Gingerbread Lane” and Ostrum is the author of “The First 17 Years Are the Hardest.”

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a program that mails books to children from birth to age 5.

Swarmer was initially told that the Imagination Library program was not available in her area, according to the HMI website. But she was determined that the literacy program be made available to Cameron County children, so she figured out how to make it happen.

What needed to happen is that a non-profit organization needed to partner with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. This was precisely the type of project Swarmer had in mind when she started HMI.

She reached out to the Cameron County commissioners, who were happy to provide a one-time gift of $1,300 to see the program come to the county.

The program is about $25 per year per child. This provides one book each month for each child.

Ryan is collecting registrations for any child ages birth to 5 who lives in ZIP codes 15834, 15832 or 15861. There is no income requirement, and there is no cost to the family. Parents can register their children by visiting hometownmentors.com/hmi-champions-dolly-parton-imagination-library-in-cameron-county-pa/ and clicking on the link to the registration form.

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