Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Opens In Wake and Durham Counties, Provides Free Books To Kids

Your child could get a free, high-quality and age-appropriate book each month
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Image courtesy of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Facebook Page













Is your family part of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library? If you have a child under age 5 and live in Wake County or Durham County, you could be getting a free book in the mail every month — just by signing up! If you live elsewhere in North Carolina, check your eligibility here. There are no strings attached, just a great book selected by experts on early literacy specifically for your child’s age delivered straight to your door.

Inspired by her father's inability to read or write, Parton created her Imagination Library, a book-gifting program designed to foster a love of reading in children ages birth to 5 through the gift of books. The program, which began in Sevier County, Tennessee, has now mailed more than 78 million free books to children — 1 million of which were delivered to families across North Carolina — as of January 2019. Funding for this initiative was provided statewide by the North Carolina General Assembly to support early literacy. Wake County Smart Start receives $51,000 annually to bring the Imagination Library to over half of Wake County’s youngest children. 

Currently 32% of third-graders in Wake County are not reading at grade level, according to Wake County Smart Start. Investments that build literacy skills are part of Wake County Smart Start's work to provide children with a solid foundation for kindergarten and life ahead, along with strengthening families and expanding access to high-quality early learning experiences.

“Our state leaders see the importance of books in the home and an early love of reading as critical to later life success,” says Angie Welsh, board chair of Wake County Smart Start. “We are excited to offer the Imagination Library literacy program as part of our work to help children build a strong foundation for starting kindergarten.”

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a great way to:

  • Build a library of up to 60 books for your young children — for free.
  • Create a habit of reading that your child will enjoy the rest of their life.
  • Ensure your child will have shared stories as the children they start kindergarten with, putting them all “on the same page” literally and figuratively.
  • Get tips for parents on how to can engage more with your child while you read together.

“My 15-month-old daughter and I love our Imagination Library books!" says local mom Andrea Acosta. "It’s really been so great to know we have a growing library as our little one grows, and we don’t have to stress about our income and being able to afford new books. We’ve also gotten books I’d never have purchased myself, but our daughter loves!”

You can see Andrea, Jorge and Violet Acosta on "CBS This Morning" sharing the love for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and Wake County Smart Start by clicking on the image below:

To find out more about Parton’s Imagination Library in Wake County, and to check availability and register a child, visit

Source: Wake County Smart Start


Categories: Early Education, Education, Stuff We Love