Our Club’s history with Imagination Library

In 1996, Dolly Parton launched an exciting new effort. Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, 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.
Dolly’s Parton’s Imagination Library has become so popular that since the initial program launch in the United States, the Imagination Library has gone from just a few dozen books to more than 200,000,000 books mailed to children in the United States, Canada and Great Britain, Ireland and Australia. Already statistics and independent reports have shown Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library drastically improves early childhood literacy for children enrolled in the program. Further studies have shown improved scores during early literacy testing.

Dolly Parton was a speaker at the 2010 Rotary International Convention in Montréal, Québec, Canada, where she received Paul Harris Fellow Recognition and shared her appreciation for Rotary’s efforts to promote literacy. Rotary International and the Dollywood Foundation’s Imagination Library are collaborating to promote early childhood reading.

The Rotary Club of College Park became a partner with the Dollywood Foundation in 2012 and since that time has distributed almost 20,000 books to families in the area – at no cost to the parents! There is simply no limit on how far we can take this program, but it is an absolute impossibility without financial help. We originally served our club’s ZIP CODE, 32804. In 2020, we expanded our reach to include ZIP CODES 32805, 32808 and 32810. There are thousands of eligible children in those areas and we are able to serve only a few of them with available financial resources. At this time, our funding is provided primarily from some of the proceeds of the club’s annual Taste of College Park. Other Rotary Clubs are considering sponsoring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in their area.

We have recently started a new iniative, Club 120. For a donation of $120, five children can receive a book each month for a full year. Click on Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library at www.RotaryCollegePark.org for more information. To become a Charter Member of CLUB 120, click on Become a Charter Member of CLUB 120.

A Taste of College Park Sponsors