dpil hires exec director rsBarbara Nelson, left, and Nancy Stephens, right, flank a poster of Dolly Parton.The Imagination Library of Grant County (ILGC) is pleased to announce the recent promoting of Nancy Stephens as the first Executive Director of the local Dolly Parton affiliate. Known and respected throughout the community, Nancy brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the organization which now sends a free, high quality, age appropriate book each month to 80% of Grant County's preschool children.

With her background as a licensed social worker and her community connections with Aldo Leopold Charter School and other organizations, Nancy began working with the ILGC as a Program Coordinator in May of 2015. According to Barbara Nelson, ILGC President, "Nancy, whose children have been recipients of our books, jumped at the chance to help develop literacy for the children of our county. Since her first day on the job, Nancy has worked to improve and streamline our organization in the delivery of our program while taking care of the business chores that keep us going."

In her original letter of application, Ms. Stephens wrote, "I grew up listening to the music of Dolly Parton and love the mission of the Imagination Library. When my daughter received her last book, I cried as I read the accompanying letter – not out of sadness – but because the books mark the passing of time and have been such a source of joy in my family. Although childhood literacy is different from social work, both place value on children's learning, social justice and well-being. Both can facilitate positive change. Almost nothing is more powerful than literacy. My sister is a language arts teacher and likes to say, 'The right book at the right time can change your life.'"

Barbara and Loren Nelson, the founders of the ILGC who have worked tirelessly since 2010 to develop this organization, have decided to step back from their leadership roles in January of 2020. To that end they and others have been working with Jane Janson, Executive Director of WNMU's Small Business Development Center, since April of 2016 on a succession plan that will allow them to retire from the board. After that date their plan is to continue working on behalf of the board to expand the program across the state.

One of the major steps in that timeline was a "transfer of duties" from them to an Executive Director. According to Ms. Nelson, "Nancy was a perfect fit for the job. Her skills and community connections are valuable resources that will help our program continue to flourish in Grant County and beyond."

For information about the imagination Library, call 575.534.9156 or 575.519.4464. Visit the Imagination Library of Grant County online at www.ImaginationLibraryGC.org.

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