What is Dolly Parton's Imagination Library?
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library brings books to children across Southeast Alaska. Children enrolled in the program will receive a free, high quality book in the mail each month from birth until the age of five. Regardless of age, the first book for every enrolled child is The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. After that, all books are age-appropriate. By the time they enter kindergarten, children will have their own library of books and be more prepared to enter school and become readers.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is more than a book delivery program. The program also hopes to motivate entire communities involved in reading to children. In Juneau, children enrolled in the program are invited to monthly Family Nights facilitated by the Association for the Education of Young Children Southeast Alaska (AEYC-SEA) and the Juneau Public Libraries.
Why United Way of Southeast Alaska supports Dolly Parton's Imagination Library?
Research shows, and many educators agree, that a child’s capacity to learn is developed very early in life. Literacy skills such as letters, names and shapes, associating sounds with letters, being read to, familiarity with books, associating reading with love and fun are developed long before a child is able to read. One of the most powerful advocates for encouraging adults to read with children is a child that just got a new book in the mail with their name on it.
History of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library:
In 1996, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library began benefiting children in Dolly Parton’s hometown of East Tennessee. In 2000, Dolly Parton replicated the program for any community with local support. Since the initial program launch in the United States, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library has gone from just a few dozen books to nearly 40,000,000 books mailed to children in the United States, into Canada and across the proverbial pond into the United Kingdom! Currently over 1600 local communities provide the Imagination Library to almost 700,000 children each month. Statistics and independent reports have shown Dolly Parton's Imagination Library drastically improves early childhood literacy for children enrolled in the program. Further studies have shown improved scores during early literacy testing.
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library in Southeast Alaska:
AEYC-SEA is the coordinator of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Southeast Alaska. Launched in Juneau in 2006 and Wrangell in 2007 - with start-up funds from Communities in Schools of Juneau and Communities in Schools of Alaska - Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library serves over 1800 children in the following SE Alaska communities: Angoon, Craig, Haines, Gustavus, Kake, Klawock, Petersburg, Sitka, Skagway, Tenakee Springs, Wrangell and Yakutat.
- Enroll a Child: Enrollment forms are available at public libraries and Head Start Programs in participating communities, Bartlett Regional Hospital, and the Juneau Family Health & Birth Center.
- Sponsor a Child: A donation of $30 will enable a child to receive a brand-new, age-appropriate book in the mail once a month for one year. With a $150 donation, you will enhance the life of a single child from birth to age 5 or five children for one year.
- Community Partners: Best Beginnings, Bartlett Regional Hospital, Communities in Schools of Juneau, Friends of the Juneau Public Library, KTOO, Kake Public Library, Juneau Public Libraries, Wrangell Public Library, Partnerships for Families & Children, Tlingit & Haida Head Start, and United Way of Southeast Alaska