Dolly Parton believes that if you can read, you can do anything. To make that possible, she started the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, a book gifting program. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library mails one high quality and age-appropriate book a month to the home of children birth to age five years old. These books are hand selected by a committee of early childhood experts to be age-appropriate and align with the child’s developmental needs. The first book is always the children’s classic The Little Engine that Could. Best of all it is a free gift to your child through our partnership with local organizations! There is no cost or obligation to your family.
As of January 2023, 199,703,329 total books have been gifted worldwide since inception. The program in Oldham County started in April 2022 and there are currently 749 children in Oldham County receiving books through the program
Families living in zip codes 40014 and 40031 with children birth to five years old are eligible for the program. Signing up is easy! Visit the following website to check availability in your area: https://imaginationlibrary.com/check-availability/
The following organizations made donations to launch the program: the Early Childhood Council Inc, Oldham County Regional Collaborative, Oldham County Public Library and Oldham County Educational Foundation Grant, Guns and Hoses and Tim Barnard, in honor of his wife Cathy Barnard (Mrs. Barnard was a lover of children and reading as well as a long-time educator and Principal of La Grange Elementary.)
In order to fully fund the program for all Oldham County children, more donations are needed. The Dolly Parton Library is searching for more funding sources to continue growing the program and provide opportunities for Oldham County children to build and access a home library.
Why and how to donate?
Research shows that children who have books in their home have enhanced literacy, positive attitudes about reading, are motivated to read and have increased opportunities for caregiver reading. Long term results report children have increased literacy skills and are ready for kindergarten.
All donations from individuals or organizations to the Oldham County Dolly Parton Affiliate will be matched by a donation from the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development (CCLD) at the University of Kentucky. The CCLD of UK will contribute a matching donation to every dollar given regardless of the amount. A $125 donation will be matched by a $125 CCLD donation and will support two children to receive 60 books over five years. A $1000 donation will be matched by CCLD and will support 16 kids to receive 60 books in total; received once a month for five years. The Dollywood Foundation purchases these books at a significantly lower cost with these contributions.