The Imagination Library project, started by singer and actress Dolly Parton, has become a huge success in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. . The project works to put books directly into the hands of children under the age of five. The Imagination Library was founded on the research that shows that as the number of books increases in the home, so does a child’s success in school. Dolly’s mission was to increase literacy in all preschool children by fostering the love of reading in the home. The program does this by mailing new, high-quality books to participating children each month.
Dolly launched the program in 1996 in eastern Tennessee. The program became so popular that in 2000 Dolly announced that she would make in available to be replicated in other communities. In 2001, 2,500 children participated. Today, with a Rotary partnership, the number of children participating has skyrocketed to nearly 700,000. “I don’t think we could do it without Rotary’s involvement,” Imagination Library Executive Director David Dotson says. “If you look at Rotary’s presence in the world, it may be that the greatest aspect of our relationship is yet to come.”
Click here for a video to listen to Dolly Parton’s story of starting this project.
Click here to find out how your club can participate in the Imagination Library.