Who is eligible?  Any child who is 4 years/10 months old or younger, and who lives in one of the eligible zip codes in Charleston County.  Currently eligible zip codes are: 29401, 29403, 29404, 29405, 29406, 29407, 29409, 29418, 29420, 29426, 29429, 29438, 29439, 29449, 29455, 29458, 29470, and 29487.

How much does the program cost?  The program is free to participating families.  The cost to donors and grantors is about $33 per child per year.

What does that buy?  A brand-new book, delivered by mail directly to the child’s home, every month for up to five years.

Who chooses the books?  A distinguished panel of educators and librarians at Dollywood Foundation select the books each year.  Books are chosen to be age appropriate and culturally diverse.  Book lists change each year so that siblings do not receive the same books as they age through the program. 

How are the books packed and shipped?  Books are packed in clear cellophane wrap and shipped directly to each child by the Dollywood Foundation.

May I have the books shipped to my place of work?  No, due to postal and program restrictions, the books must be mailed to the child's residence.

Is there economic means testing?  No. One of Dolly Parton's personal requirements is that the program be available to every child within a geographic area, so that no child feels singled out.  Early childhood literacy is important in every economic bracket.

How can you be sure that parents will read the books to the children?  While the quality of parent-child reading experience is an important issue, several studies have found that simply the number of books available makes a difference for literacy-related outcomes in pre-school-aged children.  Dolly Parton's Imagination Library takes the first critical step to eliminate access barriers.  Ancillary literacy programs are provided by BEGIN WITH BOOKS volunteers to encourage parents to read to their children. 

What if the parents can't read?  Most "illiterate" adults actually read at about a third-grade level.  Therefore, these books will actually be accessible to them, and the ability to read them to their children may in fact have an empowering result.  In addition, older siblings and extended family members will enjoy reading the books with younger children, improving overall family literacy habits.

What if a child’s family moves?  If BWB is notified of a change of address in advance, and if the new address is within the eligibility zone, the change is logged on-line and there is no interruption in delivery.  If a book is returned to the Post Office as undeliverable, it is collected by a local volunteer, and we make every attempt to discover a current address for the child.  If the new address is within the registration zone, the child will be re-enrolled at the new address.  If the new address is out of the local registration zone, the child will no longer receive books from this affiliate but may be transferred to another affiliate if available. Undeliverable books are recovered by BWB volunteers and are re-donated within the local community.

Are books and registration forms available in Spanish?  Enrollment materials are available in Spanish.  There are a few bilingual titles, but most books are in English.  

Are photocopies of the registration forms acceptable?  Yes.

Is there a recognition plan for sponsors? 

The top 4 sponsors are listed on the BWB enrollment forms, which are distributed throughout the community.

$10,000 sponsors are featured as "sponsors of the month" and, during their featured month, receive prominent recognition on this website, on the BEGIN WITH BOOKS Facebook page, in other social media, and on the mailing labels of the shipped books.

All business and organization sponsors are recognized through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Are gifts tax deductible?  Yes.  BEGIN WITH BOOKS is a program of Palmetto Project, Inc., which is a registered 501(c)3 organization with tax-exempt status.

What's the best way to give?  Gifts may be made by check, credit card, cash, on-line payment, text, or multi-year pledge.  Checks should be payable to BEGIN WITH BOOKS and mailed to


        6296 Rivers Avenue, Suite 100

        Charleston SC 29406

On-line donations may be made at Palmetto Project/BEGIN WITH BOOKS via the link below:

Palmetto Project/BEGIN WITH BOOKS

Thank you.