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Every Kansas child birth to age 5 can receive free books thanks to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

American icon to visit Kansas for private event on Aug. 14

Singer-songwriter Dolly Parton is stopping in Kansas on Aug. 14 for a private event to celebrate the statewide success of her Imagination Library program.

As of last week, every Kansas child from birth to age 5 can receive free books every month from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. This is made possible through increased funding provided to the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund by Gov. Laura Kelly and the Kansas Legislature. These funds supplement local and regional resources to ensure equitable opportunity across the state.

The Imagination Library has gifted more than 200 million books worldwide since its launch in 1995.

Pratt, Kansas, was the first Imagination Library site outside of Tennessee in 2005. Kansas has more than 52,200 children enrolled and has gifted more than 3.8 million books to children since the library’s formation in Kansas in 2005.

Parton was inspired by her father’s inability to read and write, so she started the Imagination Library to help encourage children to read.

Birth to age 5 is critical for a child’s future success, providing the foundation for a child to grow, learn and thrive. Leaders across Kansas have been focused on developing strategies to promote early literacy and support educators, parents and families in fostering commitments to reading. Forming an Imagination Library of Kansas is a significant step toward actualizing these goals by providing each Kansas child the chance to access free books.

The program's impact has been widely researched, and results suggest positive increases in key early childhood literacy metrics.

Each child enrolled in the program receives one book per month until his or her fifth birthday - at no cost to families. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. For more information, please visit imaginationlibrary.com. 

For more information about the Imagination Library of Kansas, visit kschildrenscabinet.org/imaginationlibrary

Posted: Jul 27, 2023,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush
Tags: Literacy

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