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Dolly Parton's Imagination Library now available

From Crystal Staley/Libby Suttles

Frankfort, KY - In early June, 2024, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and First Lady celebrated the statewide expansion of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. For the first time, every preschool child in Kentucky can have the gift of reading delivered to their home, building a love of books that can last a lifetime.

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library (DPIL) mails a free, age-appropriate book to children each month from birth to age 5 and has been shown to have a significant positive impact on kindergarten readiness. The program partners with local 501(c)(3) or governmental organizations to register children in their area, and with the addition of the Kenton County Public Library in June, every community in the commonwealth is now served by a local partner.

To sign up your child, visit imaginationlibrary.com/kentucky.


To donate to the organization, visit donate.imaginationlibrary.com. Kentuckians can also follow the Dolly Parton Imagination Library on Facebook and Instagram.

"My administration will always put education first, and that starts with putting books in the hands of our youngest learners," said Gov. Andy Beshear. "As Governor, and as a dad, I'm proud that Team Kentucky has come together to reach this historic milestone for our kids. I hope parents and guardians across the commonwealth will sign their kids up for the Imagination Library today. Thank you to Dolly Parton and every local partner for your investment in Kentucky's children."

While the program has been available for more than a decade in limited areas of the state, more local partners have steadily joined since Kentucky lawmakers provided one-time matching funds in the 2021-22 state budget. The next year, Gov. Beshear signed legislation establishing a framework for ongoing state support.

"As a rural Kentuckian and as a former educator, I am so proud and excited that every Kentucky child will now be able to create their own home library," said Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman. "As a mom to a preschooler, I've gotten to see firsthand the impact that reading has had on my own daughter from a young age. The Imagination Library is helping thousands of Kentucky children develop a love of reading and learning that they will carry with them as they grow up."

Kentucky's first ladies have also played key roles in the Imagination Library for years. Former First Lady Jane Beshear helped launch pilot programs in Eastern Kentucky and currently serves as board chair for the statewide program.

First Lady Britainy Beshear is a longtime advocate for children's literacy and will visit Kenton County this month to read with children and celebrate the program reaching statewide coverage.

"Some of my favorite memories as First Lady have been reading with children from across Kentucky, sharing stories that teach kindness and confidence," said Mrs. Beshear. "Andy and I have loved reading with Will and Lila since they were born, and now, every parent in Kentucky will be able to share those special memories with their kids. We are so grateful to Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program for making reading easy, fun and accessible for every kid, helping them build the strongest foundation possible for the rest of their lives."

State funding matches every dollar raised by local partners. When combined with support from the Dollywood Foundation, local partners can put high-quality books in the hands of a Kentucky child for just over $1 for each child each month. The 124 local program partners in Kentucky mailed over 112,000 books in May, meaning the program serves over 40% of the 260,000 eligible Kentucky children.

"We're incredibly grateful for the support from the state and proud of the progress we've made over the past three years," said JC Morgan, executive director of DPIL of Kentucky. "But we're just getting started. We'll keep working hard to spread the word until every Kentucky child gets to experience the joy of reading."

About Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book-gifting program in the world. This flagship program of the Dollywood Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has gifted over 240 million free books in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and the Republic of Ireland. This is achieved through funding shared by the Dollywood Foundation and local community and state partners. The Imagination Library mails more than 3 million high-quality, age-appropriate books directly to children's homes each month. Each child enrolled in the program receives one book per month from birth to age 5 - at no cost to families. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading and inspiring children to Dream More, Learn More, Care More and Be More.

The program's impact has been widely researched, and results demonstrate its positive impact on early childhood development and literacy skills. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. For more information, please visit imaginationlibrary.com.


This story was posted on 2024-06-09 12:21:49
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