Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until age 5. Find out how you can sign your child up to receive brand new, free books and encourage a love for reading!
Dolly Parton started the Imagination Library in 1995, to fight illiteracy in her eastern Tennessee community. Research shows that disadvantaged children come to school years behind their peers in pre-reading skills, and rarely catch up — and that the children still struggling to read in 3rd grade are the ones who eventually drop out. From the program launch in 1995 through June 2018, the total number of free books mailed is over 108 million!
If you have a child under the age of 5, you can sign up today for this program. After you register, the first book your child will receive is “The Little Engine That Could™” (a customized version). They will continue receiving 1 FREE book each month until the month they turn five years old, when they will receive “Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!” (customized version).
Thanks to local sponsors who make this program possible in Polk County: Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation, Bartow Rotary Club, Bartow Friends of the Library, Publix Super Markets Charities and the United Way of Central Florida Success By 6. Polk County areas currently in the program are Bartow, Fort Meade, Lake Wales, Lakeland and Winter Haven. If you live in one of these areas and your child is 4 or under you are eligible to apply.
Although there is currently a waiting list in Polk County, kids are aging out of the program daily and new applications are approved on a regular basis, so the sooner you apply, the sooner your child can begin receiving free books in the mail.
Let Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library help inspire a love of reading in your children!
How to Apply for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Visit the United Way of Central Florida’s website for more details and a link to apply.
For more details on Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, visit their official website.
(Applications should be completed through the United Way website)
Looking for more sources for free books? We have a list of 15+ places to find free + inexpensive books.
Check out our Education Guide for Lakeland + Polk County for other education topics including public schools, private schools, homeschooling, tutoring + test prep, school calendars, colleges, and more.