Here’s How Your Grandchild Can Receive Free Books In The Mail Every Month

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Isn’t Dolly Parton a diamond in the rough? I have loved this gem of a singer and human for as long as I can remember, and I will never forget when she first graced the radio waves in the late 60s and early 70s. Her talent is phenomenal, but her personality and heart are even bigger, which she demonstrates through organizations such as her Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

Started in 1995, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library sends free books to children from birth until they start school, creating an all-around unique experience and organization. Let’s take a closer look at this marvelous initiative and find out how you can sign up your grandkids for completely free books in the mail every month.

History of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library

"Read" spelled out in blocks

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library was inspired by Parton’s humble beginnings in rural Tennessee, where books were not readily available to her as a little girl. Dedicated to her late father – who never had the chance to learn to read or write – the program began in Sevier County, Tennessee, and the first book orders were placed in December 1995.

From its inception, the program was a hit and quickly expanded beyond the county lines. In 2000, Dolly Parton announced that she would make the program available to any community willing to partner with her to support it locally. Since then, the Imagination Library has grown exponentially, reaching children in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and the Republic of Ireland. By 2021, the program had gifted over 150 million books, enriching the lives of countless children and fostering a love for reading from a young age.

How the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Works

Books at the library

The beauty of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is its simplicity. The program partners with local communities responsible for enrolling children and managing the database, while the Dollywood Foundation works the system at the central level.

Once a child is enrolled, they receive a high-quality, age-appropriate book in the mail each month until they start school, regardless of family income. The books are carefully selected by a panel of early childhood literacy experts to ensure they are engaging and suitable for each developmental stage. This way, the child builds a home library of up to 60 books by the time they start school, encouraging a love for reading and a strong foundation for their educational journey!

Steps to Sign Up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Reading time with Grandma

Signing up your grandchild for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a straightforward process. Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Check availability: Visit the Imagination Library website and use the “Check Availability” tool to see if the program is available in your area.
  2. Register your grandchild: If the program is available, you can proceed to register your grandchild. You’ll need to provide basic information such as your child’s name, date of birth, and mailing address.
  3. Wait for your first book: After successfully registering, the first book should arrive at your address within 8 to 10 weeks. After that, a new book will arrive each month until your grandchild turns five or moves outside of the covered area.
  4. Keep your details up to date: If you move or your details change, make sure to update your information on the website to ensure the books keep coming.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is more than just a book gifting program; it’s a vessel of dreams, aspirations, and inspiration for children across the globe! Giving my grandchildren an early appreciation of great books is essential to me, so I am incredibly grateful for this incredible mission. In the words of Dolly Parton herself, “You can never get enough books into the hands of enough children.”

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