Dolly Parton is a living legend. Her sweet soprano voice and larger than life persona are instantly recognizable. Besides singing and acting Dolly also writes, produces, and is a very savvy businesswoman. Her family theme amusement parks Dollywood and Splash Country are extremely popular and her empire is ever-expanding.
Despite all of Dolly’s successes, she has always remembered her humble beginnings in the smoky mountains of East Tennessee, and in 1995 she began her Imagination Library. The concept was simple. Every child in Sevier County would receive one book a month from birth until five. Dolly was inspired by her beloved Daddy, Robert Lee Parton never learned to read and write but he recognized the value of education. He was proud to hear the kids call Dolly “ the book lady” and was active with the program until his death in 2005. Children who are read to from an early age tend to do better in school, and there’s no better way to foster imagination and spend quality time together than reading aloud. The books are chosen by educators and child development experts to encourage love of literacy and teach important lessons like sharing and kindness. Kids love getting their very own packages in the mail and look forward to getting a brand new hardcover book every month.
Imagination Library has grown in the 23 years and expanded, first throughout the state, then the country. Now the program is available in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand with plans to expand into other languages. In 2018 the 100 millionth book was delivered!
Families and communities who wish to apply to the Imagination Library program are encouraged to do so, There is no criteria required for eligibility, all children from birth to five years old qualify as long as their community is signed into the program. Individuals and communities who wish to participate can apply at ImaginationLibrary.org and look forward to years of quality, educational, and fun books to read together.