If you’ve heard of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, you know she isn’t just a music icon; she’s also a generous philanthropist with a heart for helping children become readers.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Children must be ages zero to age five and live in an area that qualities. And no, your income does not matter.
Dolly Parton wanted to inspire a love of reading in children. To that end, she created the Imagination Libary organization, which has gifted over 209 MILLION free books to families worldwide. That is a lot of books in the hands of happy readers.
Who Is Eligible?
In 1995 in Tenessee, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library began and soon grew out of Dolly’s home state to be a national program and then an international organization. Now, you’ll find Imagination Library in the United Kingdom, The Republic of Ireland, Canada, and Australia. Not every area of the world is eligible, but you can find out if your’s is when you go to this link to check availability.
This program is meant for children from birth to age five. The books are high-quality and age-appropriate. I know because we participated in it!
The ages under five are a crucial time for creating a love of reading in children! Why? Because engaging with books from a very young age builds early childhood literacy and literacy skills, including everything from listening and turning pages to understanding print symbols.
How Do You Sign Up?
It’s so easy to sign up! Visit the Imagination Library website and check availability in your area. Not every state or township in the United States has it, but if yours does, it will pop up on the screen. Then fill out the online form, and you’re done! If you’re in a local community that is eligible, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library will send you free books each month.
Imagination Library and Me
When my oldest was a baby, we signed up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and participated for a few months until we moved to a new a location where it was not available. But while we were participating, it was so much fun to look forward to receiving a book each month!
I loved knowing they’d send a high-quality book that my son would love, and it required no effort on my end. I didn’t have to research good books, buy anything, or go to the library. The Imagination Library sent great books straight to our doorstep, ready for us to read together over and over again. Easy peasy.
Since my son was under a year old, we got board books like Is Your Mama A Llama by Deborah Guarino and Steven Kellog. It became a well-loved classic in our home! Another favorite was Winnie-the-Pooh’s Opposites. We read both of those books many, many, many times over.
I highly recommend Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to any new family with newborns to five-year-olds. It’s an inspiring program that will help build your home library. After your children grow, you can always donate the books to a Little Free Library or a local preschool or daycare.
Thank you, Dolly Parton, for caring about literacy and children!