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Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library now accessible for all Kentucky communities 

Imagination Library
Imagination Library

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program is now available to children in every Kentucky community.

The book-gifting program, started by the country music legend in 1995, partners with local nonprofits and governmental organizations to send one free book per month to preschool children in areas around the country from birth to age 5.

With the recent addition of Kenton County Public Library to the program, communities in all 120 Kentucky counties can be serviced. Recent years have seen Imagination Library grow its presence in Kentucky by leaps and bounds with the help of the state funding.

The expansion is made possible by a bill passed in 2022 and funding from a state budget allotment passed during Gov. Andy Beshear’s first term.

Beshear made the announcement in a release Wednesday.

“My administration will always put education first, and that starts with putting books in the hands of our youngest learners,” Beshear said in the release. “As Governor, and as a dad, I’m proud that Team Kentucky has come together to reach this historic milestone for our kids.

Parton’s program aims to raise the literacy skills of kids who participate in the program by giving them access to books selected to create a love and excitement for reading. According to the Imagination Library, one in seven children in the U.S receive a book from the foundation.

Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, a former educator, also expressed her excitement with regards to the program’s expansion and the role it could play in young Kentuckians’ lives

“As a mom to a preschooler, I’ve gotten to see firsthand the impact that reading has had on my own daughter from a young age,” said Coleman. “The Imagination Library is helping thousands of Kentucky children develop a love of reading and learning that they will carry with them as they grow up.”

Current statistics indicate that more than 40% of eligible youth in the state participate in the Imagination Library program, with more than 112,000 books mailed out to Kentucky kids in May 2024 alone.

Registration for the Imagination Library is available online.

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