Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library now delivers free books to readers age 0-5 statewide in Missouri

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library expanding to Missouri.
Published: Nov. 8, 2023 at 5:00 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 8, 2023 at 10:39 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - A national program is now coming to the whole state of Missouri, aimed at creating young readers.

Ages from birth to five are eligible for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

$11 million was allocated to the program for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s 2024 Fiscal Year.

Katie Earnhart, director of the Cape Public Library, says there’s nothing better than having a book with your name in it and being able to keep it.

”We encourage kids to come to the library to get books for free right? But there’s nothing like having a book that’s yours and the Imagination Library will mail that book to that child and it has their name printed on it and it’s so exciting to go to the mailbox and have mail when it’s not junk mail right? And so it’s just as exciting for kids when they’re able to open that mailbox and see that book that’s for them,” Earnhart said. “And so adding excitement around reading is crucial for early literacy and development of lifelong learning and the love of reading and so that’s why it’s such an impactful program.”

Pam Thomas, Assistant Commissioner with the DESE’s Office of Childhood, said that the site has seen high volumes of traffic since the launch Wednesday.

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is now open in Missouri

There is no deadline to register.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library was already available to certain parts of the state with the help of 57 local affiliates.

In order to receive books, a parent or guardian must register their child on the Imagination Library national website.