Meeting Release

Post-meeting Release

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library representatives attend Seneca County Commissioners’ Meeting

By Sheri Trusty, Seneca County Media Relations Coordinator

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio Regional Director, Melissa (Missy) Timko, and Anne Gase of the Gase Family Literacy Fund attended the March 14 Seneca County Commissioners’ meeting to talk about the program’s needs and impact in the county. The Gase Family Foundation is a local partner for the Imagination Library. The foundation covers the City of Tiffin.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library provides one free book each month to registered children ages birth through five. The program is available to every child in Ohio regardless of income or zip code.

The Seneca County Commissioners heard updates on the impact and needs of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library within the county during their March 14 meeting. Shown here are, from left, County Commissioner Tyler Shuff, Melissa Timko, Anne Gase and County Commissioner Bill Frankart.

The purpose of the program is to promote literacy in young children.

“Eighty percent of the brain develops before age three, so early literacy is key,” Timko said.

The Gase Family Literacy Fund, which is administered through the Tiffin Community Foundation, funds the program for children who live in the Tiffin zip code area. The remainder of the county is temporarily funded through a private donor, so Timko asked the commissioners for advice in finding sustainable funding.

“Anne has done an amazing job growing the program here in Tiffin,” Timko said. “There is no local partner for the remainder of Seneca County.”

The Gase family’s generosity is making a lasting impact on literacy in the county.

“Our family is third generation born and raised in Tiffin. My family decided to get together and introduce the program to Tiffin in 2018,” Gase said. “It was always our goal to cover all of Seneca County, but we’re barely keeping our heads above water taking care of Tiffin.”

When the Gase family decided to support literacy efforts in the county, they researched options.

“We looked at all the literacy programs in the U.S., and we liked Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library because the funds raised stay in the community,” Gase said.

There are 935 children enrolled in the Imagination Library program in Seneca County, and 634 children have graduated from the program.

There are two ways local residents can support the Imagination Library in Seneca County. Donations can be made to the Gase Family Literacy Fund through the Tiffin Community Foundation. Secondly, Timko is looking for a local program partner to support the program throughout the county outside of Tiffin.

The Tiffin Community Foundation can be reached at Timko can be reached at 440-320-8258. For more information, visit

The commissioners had a busy week of engagement in the community. They attended several meetings and events with organizations including Family & Children First, Adams Township Trustees, Bettsville Volunteer Fire Department, Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and Great Lakes Community Action Partnership (GLCAP).

“We had a busy week at the commissioners’ office,” said Commissioner Tyler Shuff.

Seneca County Administrator Barb Patterson said Seneca County Engineer Mark Zimmerman and Seneca County Building and Grounds Maintenance Supervisor John Logsdon are collaborating on a fence project at the county cemetery.

“I want to thank Mark for doing the surveying of that plot, and I want to thank John for setting that up,” Patterson said.

There is a change of time for the upcoming commissioners’ meeting. The next Seneca County Commissioners’ meeting will be on March 21 at 11 a.m.