Children to have access to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
All of Tennessee’s 407,000 children under age five have access to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, and an Imagination Library program affiliate exists in all 95 counties in the state.
Begun by Dolly Parton in 1996 as a gift to the children in her hometown of Sevierville, the program mails one new, high-quality, age-appropriate book every month to registered children, from birth until age five – at no cost to families and regardless of income.
More than 18.5 million books have been delivered since the GBBF’s inception in October 2004. Approximately $24 annually (or $2 per book) provides for the purchase and delivery of 12 books to one child. With funding support from the Tennessee General Assembly, various foundations, individual donors and a host of private corporate sponsors in each local community, the GBBF matches ($12 per book, per child) all funds raised by each of Tennessee’s Imagination Library program affiliates – a dynamic public-private partnership unlike any other in the U.S.
Tennessee is the only state to have the Imagination Library program in every one of its counties.
An increasing amount of research points to the universally positive impact of having books in the home.
Imagination Library participants from both low-income and middle-income households arrive at kindergarten more prepared to learn than non-participants.
A 2010 study indicated that simply having more books in the home correlates to a child’s completing more years of formal education.
In January of this year, a team of researchers concluded that reading to a child in an interactive style can raise the child’s IQ by as much as six points.
Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are three to four times more likely to drop out later.
A recent study conducted by the Urban Child Institute determined that programs like the Imagination Library lead to early childhood language development, school readiness, grade progression, on-time graduation and college attendance.
For more information or to sign up call 423-318-6176.
- From Staff Reports