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UPLIFT A CHILD: Create a Lifelong Love of Reading from the Start

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library, funded through the efforts of The Literacy & Learning Center, sends age-appropriate books to children in Macon County at no cost to the family every month from birth until the child's fifth birthday. It only takes $30 to sponsor a child for an entire year! You can help grow the love of reading for the youngest readers of Macon County!

Infant held by adult who is reading the book Corduroy to her

This book gifting program was inspired by Dolly Parton's father, who could not read or write. Beginning in her home county in Tennessee, the Imagination Library is now active in five countries and mails over 2 million books monthly. Each book is mailed directly to the child's home and addressed to them. Many parents have shared how excited their children are when they receive their new book each month. Elizabeth Swift shared, "Beck was lucky to join the DPIL program early in his second year of life until age five. We all looked forward to getting his book each month. It was an incredible way to foster a lifelong love of literacy and build our children's library. The program was such a gift to our family!"

Many groups and individuals work hard behind the scenes to make that special moment possible for each child. The Imagination Library is a partnership between Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, local organizations, and individuals. Most people don't know that Dolly Parton Imagination Library Local Affiliates are responsible for enrolling children who live within each geographical area. While the Imagination Library negotiates wholesale pricing for the books, the Local Affiliate is responsible for securing funds through generous donations from community supporters to cover that cost. Books are 100% free to enrolled children because their Local Affiliate has secured funds to cover the cost of the books and the shipping fees.

Thanks to Gerry Doubleday’s motivation and start-up funding, TL&LC became the Macon County Imagination Library affiliate. Ongoing funding for this wonderful program comes partly through a grant secured by Read2Me, a community initiative in Macon County to put books into children's hands. The majority of financial support comes from a minimal number of generous community members. To date, the program remains underfunded to approximately 50% per year.

The Imagination Library is a wonderful program that is helping to give children a love of reading. It is a testament to Dolly Parton's generosity and commitment to helping children and to the kind donors of Macon County.

To learn more about The Literacy & Learning Center as a local affiliate and to register a child, visit or contact Caroline Cox at or 828-526-0863.

About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book-gifting program in the world. The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has gifted over 200 million free books in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and The Republic of Ireland. This is achieved through funding shared by The Dollywood Foundation and Local Community Partners. The Imagination Library mails more than 2 million high-quality, age-appropriate books directly to children’s homes each month. Each child enrolled in the program receives one book per month from birth to age five - at no cost to families. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading and inspiring children to Dream More, Learn More, Care More and Be More.

The program’s impact has been widely researched, and results demonstrate its positive impact on early childhood development and literacy skills. For more information, please visit



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