Why did you start the Imagination Library?
In 1996, Dolly Parton launched an exciting new effort to benefit the children of her home county in east Tennessee. Dolly wanted to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families. She wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.
Who’s behind it?
The River Valley Imagination Library is a partnership of The Dollywood Foundation, Dolly Parton’s charitable foundation, and River Valley United Way, a charitable organization that promotes community partnerships to improve the overall education, income and health of residents of our service area (Pope, Johnson and Yell Counties).
Additional sponsors of the Johnson County Imagination Library program currently include the University of the Ozarks, Rotary International - Clarksville, Mustard Seed and other community groups in Clarksville.
How does it work?
Children in participating communities can enroll in the program from the day they are born. Once they’re signed up, they receive a new, age-appropriate book through the mail each month until their fifth birthday. In order for a child to be eligible, his/her community must have a local sponsor committed to covering the books and mailing costs, in addition to managing and promoting the program at the local level. In our service area, children who live in Pope and Johnson counties are eligible to register for the program.
How much does it cost to run? How much does each community need to raise?
In addition to the cost of books and mailing, community sponsors are also required to registration brochures and administrative costs which includes database maintenance. Through a generous partnership with River Valley United Way, all administrative costs are covered - meaning, 100% of each donation to the Imagination Library in our service area goes directly toward the purchase and mailing of books.
Who chooses the books?
There is a national committee of individuals who meet each year to review the Library. New titles are introduced each year so younger siblings will not receive the exact same books as their older siblings. In addition, as the program grows even more quality books are available to us.
Is there research supporting the values of the program?
Absolutely. Educators and researchers the world over have identified that reading with your preschool children is the single most important activity to prepare a child for school.
How much do the books cost and who pays for the books?
There is no cost to the families who receive books. Books are paid for by donations from people in your community and in Johnson County, donations are matched by the University of the Ozarks. You can make a donation
online or you can honor friends or family by making a donation in their honor click here
for more information.
Who can receive books?
Any child age birth to 5 years of age who lives in Pope or Johnson county is eligible to receive books.
How can I enroll my child?
If you live in Pope county
, click here
to download a registration form. Complete the form and mail it to the address on the form or email it as an attachment to info@ rivervalleyunitedway.org. Another way to register is to fill out the form, snap a picture of it and email it to us.
If you live in Johnson County
, click here
to register online (after July 1, 2016) or click here to download a registration form. Complete the form and mail it to the address on the form or email it as an attachment to info@ rivervalleyunitedway.org. Another way to register is to fill out the form, snap a picture of it and email it to us.
I enrolled my child approximately 2 months ago, how long before the books arrive?
The first book typically arrives eight to ten weeks after a child's enrollment form has been activated. The books are ordered on the 1st of each month for delivery by the last week of the following month. For example, if your enrollment was activated before 5:00 p.m. on June 1st, you will receive your first book by the last week of July. However if your enrollment was activated after 5:00 p.m. on June 1st, you would roll over to the July 1st order for delivery of your first book by the last week of August. In other words it may take up to 10 weeks before you receive your first book. After that time, the books will arrive each month.
My child has been registered and receiving books but now he/she has stopped getting books.
If your child has been receiving books and the books have stopped coming for no apparent reason, or if the book for a particular month did not arrive, please review this book delivery checklist to troubleshoot possible causes.
My family is moving to a new address. Will my child continue to receive books from the Imagination Library?
As long as you and your family will still reside in Pope or Johnson County, your child can continue to receive books from our Imagination Library program. However, you need to change the address we have on record and also notify the United States Postal Service. Click here to login with the username and password that was emailed to you when you registered your child. From there, you can edit your address to ensure that your child doesn't miss a single book. Also, please visit www.usps.com and notify the Postal Service of your new address.
If you are moving out of our service area: You may still continue to receive books if your new zip code is part of a currently operating area. When you update your address, you will automatically be transferred into the program in your new location if that area has an Imagination Library program. If you move into an area where there is not a community partner sponsoring the Imagination Library, your child will no longer receive books.