I’ve seen the Dolly Parton free books meme floating around Facebook for a while now. Although interesting, there’s never any information about how you can actually get those books for your kids. I wasn’t even sure it was legit.
So I did what I do best… and I researched it.
Your little kids between the ages of birth and 5 years can get free age-appropriate books every month from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library as long as you reside in eligible areas of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. There are 1,600 currently participating communities but this program is not available in all areas yet.
In the last 20 years, the Imagination Library has sent more than 87 million free books around the world. Now, they’re sending more than a million books each month! Soon, they’ll cross the 100 million book threshold.
The program debuted in Sevier County, Tennessee, where Dolly Parton was born and raised by an illiterate father who couldn’t read. In 2000, the program expanded to the rest of the United States.
Studies have shown that Dolly’s free book program is helping to improve childhood literacy and vocabularies. Her father, who never learned to read, inspired Dolly to create this program. She said, “I started my Imagination Library in honor of my dad. He didn’t get to live long enough to see it do well, but it’s a wonderful program that I take a lot of pride in.”
She also said, “If you can read, you can educate yourself. Even if you’re not able to afford to go to college, if you can read you can find out about any subject that you’re interested in. And if a book is comin’ to the mailbox every month and it’s got your name on it, then you’re gonna find someone to help you read it to you.”
Unfortunately, my community isn’t currently participating. Hopefully you have better luck! Click here to find out if you’re in an eligible area.