Have a passion for reading that you’d like to share? You’re not alone! In 1995, celebrity singer and actress, Dolly Parton created what is known today as the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
Her mission was to bring new books to preschool age children in her home county in Tennessee. Her motivation was to share her love of reading with younger generations, regardless of household income and get children excited about books.
“When I was growing up in the hills of East Tennessee, I knew my dreams would come true. I know there are children in your community with their own dreams. They dream of becoming a doctor or an inventor or a minister. Who knows, maybe there is a little girl whose dream is to be a writer and singer.
The seeds of these dreams are often found in books, and the seeds you help plant in your community can grow across the world.” – Dolly Parton
Find out more about how you can get involved in your community, eligibility criteria, and what type of books are selected for each month’s mailing below.
What is the Dolly Parton Imagination Library?
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a program that gifts books to children from birth through age five. The program is supported by private and corporate donations in participating communities throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland.
Over 1 million free books are sent out to enrolled children each month in an attempt to foster a love of learning and literature. In fact, in May 2019, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library mailed out 120,742,694 books to children around the world.
The families of the enrollees are never charged for the books or the cost of mailing; the program is entirely free for them. Affiliates in counties throughout the participating countries partner with local businesses to encourage the donation of funds. This allows them to provide monthly book mailings for each local child enrolled in the program.
What age of kids are eligible for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library?
Dolly Parton’s books are chosen specifically for children from birth through age five. The focus on preschool age children allows the organization to target specific early reading goals through high-quality children’s literature. While older siblings are not able to receive books, they can certainly share in the reading of each month’s delivery.
How to find out if you are eligible for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library?
Eligibility for Dolly Parton’s books is based on age and program availability. You can check to see if there is a current program in your community by filling out the form located here on their website.
The site instantly checks to see if any programs are running in your area. If there are none available, you are given the option of starting a program or signing up for alerts if and when a program begins.
What does Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library cost to participate?
There is no cost for participation for families of children enrolled with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Private donations cover the cost of the books and mailings. Regardless of income, the family of the child receiving the monthly books will not be billed in any way.
For affiliates or those who are managing the program in their area, the cost per child per month is slightly more than $2.
What type of books are available at the Dolly Parton Imagination Library?
Penguin Random House publishing is the sole provider of books for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library monthly mailings. According to the Imagination Library website, “Each year, the esteemed Blue Ribbon Book Selection Committee, a specially selected panel of early childhood literacy experts, is responsible for reviewing hundreds of potential titles for inclusion in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.”
Books for each age group are selected based on age-appropriateness, as well as the prevalent themes of imagination and inspiration. Issues such as fear, conflict, safety, love, diversity, and more are also taken into consideration. Each book is chosen for both its visual and intellectual appeal.
Children enrolled in the program get a pre-selected book each month and do not get to request specific titles or topics.
Can children who are visually impaired receive books?
Recognizing the need to provide options for children who are blind or visually impaired, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library partners with the American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. to offer books in braille and audio format. This allows children of all abilities to engage with the wonders of storytelling.
How Can I Become an Affiliate?
Affiliates are the lifeblood of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Called “Local Champions” affiliates are the local leaders who bring the program to their community through fundraising and recruitment efforts. Businesses, schools, organizations, and individuals who feel called to give of their time and energy are eligible for affiliate enrollment.
The Imagination Library website provides more detailed information about the potential cost of the program over the first five years, as well as how the affiliate program works and the steps for getting started.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is investing in the lives of the next generation one book at a time.
Other Posts You Will Like:
Like it? Pin it.