Dolly Parton's Imagination Library to expand statewide in Indiana, starting Sept. 1
Starting next month, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library will be available in all 92 Indiana counties, thanks to state government providing funding for the first time.
The program that provides free books every month to children from birth to age 5 was previously available in a little more than half the state.
By providing $6 million in the new state budget, state government is picking up half the cost of the reading program, with local partners responsible for the other half. That allows the program to spread statewide, since previously communities had to pick up the cost entirely on their own.
Gov. Eric Holcomb said helping young children read creates a critical foundation.
“To hopefully not just pursue their passion or their purpose, but hopefully ultimately their prosperity,” Holcomb said.
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The Dollywood Foundation operates the program. Regional Director Lauren Wirt said the statewide expansion will initially help reach at least 6,500 more children.
"Dolly's mission for the program, still to this day, is the same: to simply inspire a love of reading," Wirt said.
The program is available to children regardless of income level. To learn more or sign up, visit imaginationlibrary.com.