What is the Imagination Library of Hancock County?
The Imagination Library is an early childhood literacy program launched by the Dollywood Foundation in 1995 thanks to the vision and generosity of singer and performer Dolly Parton.
The Imagination Library of Hancock County is made possible through a partnership of the Hancock County Community Foundation (HCCF) and the Hancock County Public Library (HCPL).
The Imagination Library program provides a high-quality, age-appropriate book to all children from birth to age five in Hancock County. Books are delivered monthly to the home with the child’s name printed on the label…in other words, children receive their very own books from Dolly.
Books are free to families living in Hancock County for children from birth to age five thanks to the generosity of our community.
Why The Imagination Library?
In Hancock County, 40% of children entering kindergarten score below literacy readiness standards. This data was collected from the Reading Foundation strand of the Northwest Educational Assessment (NWEA), and the Letter Naming Fluency (LNF) and First Sound Fluency (FSF) scores on the DIBELS, (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Learning Skills).
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 five 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.
Click here for detailed research outcomes.
Parents as Teachers (PAT) and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library released results in 2015 from a comprehensive research project that shows how dramatically home environments for early learning can improve when parents engage in learning with their child, at home, and with other families, with facilitation by a trained “parent-educator.” The project, supported by the Department of Education, was conducted by Parents as Teachers, one of the nation’s most respected family support organizations impacting more than 240,000 children annually in all 50 states, and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, an innovative book distribution program that provides monthly books to children from birth to age five.
Click here for detailed research on PAT.
A FOREVER 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 took the lead role in funding and worked with the community to build a $2 million endowment to cover book expenses and sustain the Imagination Library program.
A $2 million dollar endowment generates enough funding for 3,500 children to receive 12 books per year EVERY YEAR. That’s 60 books before their 5th birthday! Through careful stewardship, the endowment will continue to produce annual income to provide books for an ever-growing population.
The Hancock County Community Foundation has committed to enhancing early childhood literacy and improving kindergarten readiness through The Imagination Library program and invites you to secure its future through a gift to the Imagination Library Endowment Fund.
More than 2,500 children in Hancock County are enrolled in the Imagination Library of Hancock County!
Who is eligible for enrollment?
Enrollment is now open to any child from birth until age five and is a resident of Hancock County.
For fun activity sheets that will go along with some of the books you receive from Imagination Library, visit the Parent Resources page here.
For good reading habits, reading tips, and additional resources, visit here.
Gift of Literacy
Gift of Literacy
What was your favorite book as a child? Maybe it was Pippi Longstocking or The Adventures of Peter Rabbit. Maybe it was The Little Engine That Could. Chances are, you can remember at least one story from your childhood.
In 2018, 43% of Hancock County children entering kindergarten scored below literacy readiness standards. The Hancock County Community Foundation is dedicated to improving kindergarten readiness by inspiring a love for reading from birth.
Imagination Library is made possible through a partnership of the Hancock County Community Foundation (HCCF) who is taking the lead role in securing funding for the program and the Hancock County Public Library (HCPL) who is responsible for enrolling children and placing book orders.
Please consider honoring the avid reader in your life by making a charitable gift to the Imagination Library program and give the gift of literacy to Hancock County babies. Imagination Library donations make great holiday, birthday, and baby shower gifts.
Click here to give the gift of literacy.
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