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 reading concepts; for example, that letters and pictures in a book have meaning and relate to known things in the real world.
  • Know how to flip through a book and understand that reading is left-to-right, top-to-bottom.
  • Know the joy of receiving a gift in the mail every month and begin to place value on books and reading.
  • Love reading stories with their parents and caregivers, which leads to strong emotional bonds and emotional stability.
  • 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.