Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library: The Vision

It sounds almost too simple to be true, but parents, when they read regularly to their children during their preschool years, are providing them the biggest boost toward a successful education they will ever get. Click here to read some research supporting this concept.

Imagine if every preschool child received a book in his or her home every month for the first five years of life. Imagine the excitement those children would feel receiving these gifts. Imagine if this sixty-volume library was absolutely free to the children and their families! Now imagine that this is a reality.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a unique program that mails a new, age-appropriate book to the homes of children every month from birth to age five. Dolly wanted to inspire the love of reading and learning in children by spending time with family and friends sharing these wonderful books together. Dolly felt that reading was the key to a strong education, and that a child’s imagination is the center of his or her dreams and creativity. By combing the two, this program hopes to inspire children to dream more, learn more, care more, and be more. Watch an interview with Dolly in which she explains her reasons for starting the program.

Toddler reading

Absorbed in a book….

With the arrival of the first book which all participants receive, the classic The Little Engine That Could, children experience the joy of finding their very own book in their mailbox. These moments continue each month until the child turns 5 — and in their very last month in the program, each participant receives a copy of Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!

Here’s how it works: a community sponsor, Addison County Readers, Inc. in this case, makes the program available to all preschool children in their area by paying for the books and mailing costs, promoting the program, registering children, and entering the names of new participants into their database. From there The Dollywood Foundation takes over and manages the system to deliver the books to each home. Hundreds of communities are currently providing books to hundreds of thousands of children.
Dolly’s Imagination Library has been such a success in the United States that she has approved the replication of her program in Canada and the United Kingdom.

To see a representative list of titles, click here.

For details about the program, click here.

Questions? Click here.