TOLEDO, Ohio — Ever since Dolly Parton started Imagination Library, a free book program for children, more than one million free books have been gifted to children each month around the world.
Parton was inspired to create a book giveaway program for kids by her father, who could not read or write.
“When I was growing up in the hills of East Tennessee, I knew my dreams would come true. I know there are children in your community with their own dreams. They dream of becoming a doctor or an inventor or a minister. Who knows, maybe there is a little girl whose dream is to be a writer and singer," Parton said on her Imagination Library website. "The seeds of these dreams are often found in books and the seeds you help plant in your community can grow across the world.”
What started was a program in her own home county has spread across the country and around the world, and has reached us here in the Toledo area!
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library first launched in eight Toledo zip codes in 2015. To ensure every child in Ohio gets a chance to receive free books, Gov. Mike DeWine wrote Dolly Parton's Imagination Library into the state budget to expand the program to all of Ohio's 88 counties.
Earlier this year, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library went county-wide in Lucas and Wood counties and just last month went county-wide in Ottawa County.
The United Way of Greater Toledo says 11,510 children across all three counties are currently enrolled. If your child isn't one of them, they could be!
Visit United Way of Greater Toledo to sign your child up for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library today.
Children will receive a free book each month. Dolly's dream is to make sure all children have access to books, no matter their family's income.