Catawba County, NC – Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is turning over a new chapter in The Imagination Library legacy – celebrating 200 million books gifted globally since its inception in 1995. The early childhood book-gifting program mails a high-quality, free book each month to children from birth to age five. Catawba County Partnership for Children is excited to celebrate with the 5,555 children who are currently enrolled locally. Since The Partnership brought the program to Catawba County in April of 2011, more than 663,000 books have been mailed to 18,739 local children.
To celebrate this global 200 million book milestone, seven enchanting Dolly bookmarks will be randomly hidden inside Imagination Library books gifted during International Literacy Month (September) to children/families currently enrolled in the program. (Children must be enrolled by July 31, 2023, to receive Imagination Library books in September).
Seven random children in five countries who find the Dolly bookmarks in their Imagination Library books will receive, if they choose, a video chat with Dolly, a personalized signed letter from Dolly, an autographed photo from Dolly, and four Dollywood Theme Park tickets. The Dollywood Foundation will also donate $2000 on behalf of the child to their Local Imagination Library Partner in their community as a thank you to who Dolly calls the true heroes of her program.
Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write, Dolly started the Imagination Library in 1995 to serve the children of her hometown in Sevier County, Tennessee. Today, her program spans five countries and gifts over 2.4 million free, high-quality, age-appropriate books each month to children around the world. There is never a charge to families who participate in the program, and it is open to all children under the age of five in geographic areas with operating programs.
“I know there are children in communities around the world with big dreams, and the seeds of these dreams are often found in books,” said Dolly. “It’s been one of my greatest gifts in life to help instill a love of reading through my Imagination Library. Reaching 200 million books worldwide is a major milestone that I’m so very proud of, and I want to thank all of our local program partners, funders, and supporters from the bottom of my heart. But we’re just getting warmed up, we have so much more to do! Together, we can inspire even more children to dream more, learn more, care more, and be more.”
Participating in 200 Million Reasons to Celebrate is voluntary and does not affect enrollment in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. All children under five years of age who are actively enrolled in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library by July 31, 2023, can participate. To learn more, visit www.imaginationlibrary.com/200-million-books.
About Catawba County Partnership for Children:
The Partnership for Children is a nonprofit agency that is committed to ensuring that all children enter kindergarten prepared for lifelong success. They offer early childhood programs such as the NC Pre-Kindergarten Program, Children’s Resource Center, Imagination Library, Parents as Teachers, Triple P (Positive Parenting Program), Our Nest Diaper Pantry, and the Early Childhood Support Team. To connect to all early childhood services, call the Children’s Resource Center at 828-695-6565 or go to www.catawbakids.com.