Reading is fundamental to brain growth in small children and getting books into their hands is very important. Country singer, Dolly Parton, believes in this concept so much that she has developed a program that sends children a book every month from birth to age 5.
The Imagination Library was inspired by Parton’s father. Raised in a remote, rural community, her father had never learned to read and Parton knew that this missing element greatly affected his life. “Inspiring kids to love to read became my mission,” she says.
Each month, the Imagination Library mails high quality, age appropriate books to participating children, age birth through 5, at no cost to their families. The goal? Making sure children have access to great books in their home.
The Imagination Library began in Parton’s home state of Tennessee in 1995 and expanded across the United States in 2000. More recently, the program has expanded to Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, with Ireland joining in 2019. Over 130 million books have found their way to eager new readers since the Imagination Library began.
Studies say that reading to your kids teaches them over a million words before kindergarten. Just reading one picture book per day can add 78,000 words per year. Reading with your kids 20 minutes a day builds vocabulary and pre-reading skills.
With the Imagination Library, these kinds of books are finding their way into homes and helping more children learn to love reading. The Imagination Library is available in many communities across the country. You can check to see if it’s available in your area here.