Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library knows that real community change starts at home. That is why this early literacy program sends free, quality, age-appropriate books directly to the homes of children from when they are born until they turn five.

Every month in 2019 more than 3,500 Clarke and Oconee County children between birth and five years old are receiving books in the mail for free! In the last 7 years, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has seen 9,018 children and their families through those first five years to begin kindergarten better prepared and more in love with reading.

Through a study done in 2018 alongside Clarke County School District and UGA’s Terry College of Business we found that children receiving these books performed 10% better on kindergarten literacy evaluations and were twice as likely to be placed in gifted courses than those not receiving these books. Of children in gifted courses, 86.3% were found to be proficient in reading during the school year 2017-2018 in Clarke County, while the average reading proficiency was only 31% according to the CCSD Summative Review.

The life-changing educational success is critical, and something we are just as proud of is the love for these books that families share. It is not just a child’s life that is changed by books in the home, but the life of a whole family reading, learning, and growing together.

“This program sent us books for free at a time when we had no extra money to buy books for my child. This was a gift for him and our family to get a book in the mail. It made me feel normal at a time when so many other things in my life felt abnormal.” – Mary

“Reading was always a part of my childhood, but not so much my husband’s. He now is an avid reader himself because of the DPIL books and our son’s desire to read and learn.” – Tonya

“The book we got this month brought me to tears because it’s very important for me for my daughter to be able to speak Spanish just like me, and one of the ways I plan on doing that is by reading her books in Spanish. My financial situation hasn’t allowed me to get her any Spanish books but this month we received a Sassy book that was both in Spanish and English and I couldn’t be happier.” – Ariana

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library empowers families to prepare for kindergarten only because of the incredible support of our local community. While we currently serve 37% of children in both Clarke and Oconee combined, we strive to bring that number above 50% and grow even higher. It only costs $31 to send 12 quality, age-appropriate books directly into one child’s home and rewrite their story of literacy. Investing $620 supports a future kindergarten classroom of 20 children who will arrive to kindergarten better prepared to learn.

Help rewrite the literacy story of our community by donating and spreading the word. After all real community change starts at home.

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