What is Imagination Library of Hancock County?
Imagination Library is an early childhood literacy program launched by the Dollywood Foundation in 1995 thanks to the vision and generosity of singer, performer Dolly Parton.
Imagination Library is a program made possible through a partnership of the Hancock County Community Foundation (HCCF) and the Hancock County Public Library (HCPL).
The Imagination Library program will provide an age appropriate book to all qualifying children who are residents of Hancock County. Books are delivered monthly to the home, and in the name, of the enrolled child…in other words, children will receive their very own books.
Books will be free to families living in Hancock County with children beginning at birth thanks to the generosity of our community.
Why Imagination Library?
In 2016, 40 percent of Hancock County children entering kindergarten fell below literacy readiness standards.
It’s Proven! The An Impact Analysis: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Tennessee, 2004-2014 reports the following:
- Children begin school with book handling skills and an understanding of letter and word concepts.
- In addition to these skills, those such as math scores and cognitive skills are significantly improved with participation in Imagination Library.
- Closing the “language gap” before age 5 is vital for reading success in school. A child’s brain grows to 80% of its adult size by age three, creating a critical window of opportunity for learning words and language.
- Reading experiences shared by children from diverse backgrounds upon entering kindergarten can “level the playing field” and help them develop socialization skills.
- Participants outperform non-participants on kindergarten literacy assessments.
Imagination Library is the community’s financial promise to Hancock County children
Imagination Library is a gift from the community to the children of a community. Although books are free to families, the community bears a financial responsibility.
HCCF is taking the lead role in funding and will work with the community to build a $2 million endowment over five years to cover book expenses and sustain the Imagination Library program. This effort is called The Imagination Library Express.
A $2 million dollar endowment will generate enough funding for 3,500 children to receive 12 books per year EVERY YEAR. That’s 60 books before the 5th birthday! Through careful stewardship, the endowment will continue to produce annual income to provide books for an ever growing population.
The people of Hancock County will be encouraged to invest in the future of our community’s children until the endowment fund is capable of full program support. Until then, HCCF is committed to the program’s success and will provide the financial resources needed to fill funding gaps related to immediate book expenses.