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Free books available for kids through Dolly Parton's Imagination Library


Dolly Parton's Imagination Library recently expanded its groundbreaking preschool literacy program throughout Missouri.

Previously, the program was available in select counties where local organizations partnered with the Imagination Library. The Missouri Imagination Library is now funded statewide due to legislation (RSMo Sec. 178.694) and partners with local school districts such as Sedalia School District 200.

The program, founded by iconic country singer Dolly Parton, has been instrumental in fostering a love for reading among young children. Missouri residents will now be able to access the Missouri Imagination Library, which provides free, age-appropriate books to children from birth to age 5.

With Parton's commitment to nurturing imagination and education, the expansion into Missouri is seen as a significant step toward enriching the lives of countless youngsters. The Imagination Library, established in 1995, has already made a profound impact in various communities worldwide. Its mission is simple yet powerful: to inspire a lifelong love for learning by making sure every child has access to quality books, regardless of their family's economic background.

In a recent press release, Parton expressed her excitement about the expansion.

"I'm thrilled to see the Imagination Library reaching more kids in Missouri,” Parton said. “Books have the power to open doors, and I believe that every child deserves the chance to dream big and achieve their full potential."

The Imagination Library's carefully curated book selections cater to different age groups, ensuring that children receive age-appropriate content that engages and captivates their young minds.

In a Sedalia 200 press release, Superintendent Dr. Todd Fraley expressed his happiness with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library partnership and the positive effect it will have on local literacy rates.

“We are so happy that the United Way of Pettis County is teaming up with us on this effort to get more books into the hands of more children across the county,” Fraley said. “Literacy is a cornerstone of learning, and we are grateful that the Dolly Parton Imagination Library is investing in our children's futures.”

Before the State took over funding this month, the Imagination Library in Pettis County was sponsored and supported locally by the United Way of Pettis County.

“We are so excited to partner with Sedalia 200 to continue the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in our community,” UWPC Executive Director Rachelle Simon said in the press release. “Currently, about 1,450 children are enrolled in Pettis County, and we would love to continue seeing more families and children getting these free books.”

A simple two-minute sign-up process can enroll a child in the Missouri Imagination Library and start them on the road to reading. After enrolling, books will begin arriving within six to eight weeks.

Each month, a new book from the 60-volume Dolly Parton Imagination Library, beginning with “The Little Engine That Could,” will be mailed in your child's name directly to their home. This is a free gift with no obligation to buy anything.

UWSPC asks those who would like to invest in literacy for Pettis County Youth to call 660-826-2980 or send a check to 1400 S. Limit Ave. Suite 29, Sedalia, MO 65301and place DPIL (Dolly Parton Imagination Library) in the memo line.

To sign up, families with children under 5 should go to imaginationlibrary.com/check-availability. For more information on the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, visit spcuw.org/dolly-parton-imagination-library.