Reading is vital to a child’s ability to learn and be successful in school, and the skills needed to be a good reader start developing from birth. Providing easy access to books, especially at home, is an important way to support language and early literacy development.
Dolly Parton created the Imagination Library program to inspire kids to love to read. Children registered for the Imagination Library program receive a free, age-appropriate, hiqh-quality children’s book by mail every month until age 5.
“In the beginning, my hope was simply to inspire the children in my home county,” said Dolly, “but here we are today with a worldwide program that gives a book a month to well over 1 million children.”
Check availability on the Imagination Library website. If the program is available in your area, then you’ll be able to fill out the online registration form.
Can I register more than one child?
Yes, you can register each child under age 5.
When will my child start receiving books? And how often?
Your child’s first book will arrive by mail about eight to twelve weeks after your registration is received. Then, a new book will be sent every month until your child turns 5 or moves out of an eligible ZIP code.
What should I do if my child’s address changes?
As soon as possible, go to the Parent Portal on the Imagination Library Book Order System and update your profile with the new address.
If you did not register online and create a parent account, check the Imagination Library website for the local program partner in your community and contact them directly to change address.
In order to continue receiving books, the new address must be in an area where the program is available.
How are the books selected?
All titles in the Imagination Library are published by Penguin Random House and carefully selected by a panel of experts in early childhood and reading. The book selection committee meets annually to review and refresh the book list to ensure that each book is age-appropriate and that the list features a broad range of titles, authors and genres.
Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book-gifting program in the world. The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has gifted nearly 200 million free books in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and The Republic of Ireland. The Imagination Library mails more than 2 million high-quality, age-appropriate books each month to enrolled children from birth to age five. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading and inspiring children to dream more, learn more, care more and be more.
The impact of the program has been widely researched and results suggest positive increases in key early childhood literacy metrics. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
As a result of historic investments from Congress to ensure access to high quality child care and stabilize and support child care providers, the Governor’s Office and the Arizona Department of Economic Security Division of Child Care has dedicated funding from its federal COVID-19 relief funds for accelerating access to early childhood literacy, including the statewide expansion of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which served approximately 11,000 children in select Arizona communities last year.
This new investment will enable the program to deliver books to as many as 7,000 more young children and reach families in 126 additional Arizona ZIP codes, in primarily rural and high-need communities, where the program was not previously available. Additionally, earlier this year, 200 early learning sites across Arizona received a specially-selected set of 28 high-quality children’s books to help support early literacy in their programs.
Read On Arizona, our state’s early literacy collective impact initiative, is coordinating the statewide expansion in partnership with The Dollywood Foundation, the Arizona Department of Economic Security, the Arizona Department of Education, and the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona.
Read On Arizona is our state’s early literacy initiative
Launched in 2013, partners in Read On Arizona take a collective impact approach to improving language and literacy outcomes for Arizona’s children from birth to age eight, with strategic focus on school readiness and third-grade reading proficiency.
Read On Arizona isn’t a non-profit organization or an awareness campaign. It’s a statewide collaboration. Led by the state literacy director, it is a commitment among the key players in education and philanthropy in Arizona to work together in coordination and alignment, share data, maximize investments, and take the strategic, comprehensive, collective approach required to drive large-scale change.
The Read On Arizona collaboration provides leadership at the state level through an advisory board consisting of members from the founding partners — First Things First, Arizona Department of Education, Arizona Community Foundation, Helios Education Foundation, and Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust — as well as the Arizona State Board of Education, the Governor’s Office of Education, and several other philanthropic organizations and key literacy stakeholders.
Read On Arizona also supports local literacy efforts through a network of Read On communities. Each works with a wide array of local stakeholders, including schools and school districts, local governments, early learning programs, businesses, faith communities, and non-profit organizations working directly with families. Each applies the same strategic approaches of the statewide Read On Arizona collaboration to coordinate and maximize their collective efforts in their local community.