In 1996, Dolly Parton made an important and lasting decision to help the kids in her home county in east Tennessee. Dolly wanted to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families. She figured that all the kids needed books, even those families who were struggling financially.
She decided to mail a brand new book each month to every child under 5 in her county. What lucky kids, and how exciting that they receive something just for them in the mailbox. The best part is that the program doesn’t stop there. The child continues to receive a book each month until they turn five years old. On their fifth birthday, they are sent, Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come.
You can bet this has been a huge success. Other communities realized how important the Imagination Library is to children and wanted to give the kids in their community the same opportunity.
Dolly decided her Foundation should develop a way for other communities to take part. The Foundation asked a blue ribbon panel of experts to select just the right books and secured Penguin Group USA to be the exclusive publisher for the Imagination Library. Moreover a database was built to keep track of the information.
In March of 2000, Dolly revealed her plan for other communities to take part in this great gift to children.