River Valley United Way believes every child deserves the chance to reach their full potential.
That’s why we partnered with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a community-based program providing 0-5-year-old children with free home-delivered books and parent/carer literacy resources each month. The Imagination Library Project is a literacy initiative launched by Dolly Parton and her foundation in 1996. Books are paid for by local donors and mailed directly to local children until the month of their fifth birthday.
River Valley Imagination Library - River Valley United Way initiated the program in Pope County in April 2015.
Johnson County Imagination Library - Through a unique partnership of River Valley United Way, the University of the Ozarks, Mustard Seed, and Clarksville Rotary, the Johnson County Imagination Library began registering children in July 2016.
Yell County Imagination Library - Launched in 2018, we are excited to offer this program to children in Yell County!
How does the program work?
Any child under the age of five living in Pope or Johnson county is eligible to receive one free age-appropriate book each month in the mail. While the Dollywood Foundation oversees the selection and delivery of the books, it is up to the local community to raise the funds. River Valley United Way serves as the primary fundraiser for the project and is charged with the responsibility of securing $25 per child per year to support program costs.
How do we know the program is effective?
Countless studies tout the relationship between early literacy and school performance. By providing the children of our community with twelve quality, age-appropriate books each year, we seek to:
- increase children’s access to books
- encourage parents to read more often to their children to support children in the development of a love for reading
- better prepare children to begin school
A recent study of Imagination Library graduates reveals that:
- 94% read to their children more frequently
- 97% feel their children’s love of reading is enhanced
- 97% of parents feel their children would have access to fewer books without the program
- 91% feel their children are better prepared for school because of Imagination Library!
We need your support...
Ideally, we would like to reach 100% of eligible children. We cannot make significant steps toward that goal without your help! “Imagination Library was designed to help children dream more, learn more, care more and be more, and it is really working," says Dolly Parton. “My dream is to expand Imagination Library all over America and all over the world. By doing so, we are giving the gift of reading to every pre-school child.”
Text DOLLY to 26989 to give now or Click here to donate in honor of a parent, grandparent, friend, or teacher.
How to register
Children must reside in Pope, Johnson, or Yell County with their parent or guardian. Please don't register children who do not live with you in our coverage area. Visit www.imaginationlibrary.com to register or to find your local affiliate.