How the Imagination Library Works

Early childhood literacy is what children know before they learn to read.  In fact, babies and toddlers develop much of their capacity to learn in the first three years of life, when their brains grow to 80% of their eventual adult weight. 

By planting the seeds of literacy early in life, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library:
  • Encourages positive parent-child interactions.
  • Improves readiness for kindergarten.
  • Sets the foundation for success in school, which sets the foundation for success in life.

Children who participate in the program:

  • Recognize pictures, numbers and words.
  • Understand what a story is.
  • Know how to flip through a book.
  • Know the joy of receiving a gift in the mail every month.
  • Love reading stories with their parents and caregivers.
  • Are better prepared for kindergarten.
It's easy to participate:
  • Parents in eligible communities register their children by completing a simple form. 
  • Children are enrolled online in Dolly Parton's Imagination Library by BEGIN WITH BOOKS volunteers. 
  • Approximately 2 months after registration, the first book arrives in the mail, mailed by the Dollywood Foundation in a clear plastic wrapper so it is immediately recognizable.
  • A new book arrives in the mail every single month until the child's fifth birthday.

Learn more about the Imagination Library.