Dolly Parton broadcasting locally to promote expanded statewide coverage of her free book program for kids through age 5


Music icon and philanthropist Dolly Parton is coming to our state next Tuesday, August 15, to celebrate the statewide coverage achievement of her Imagination Library project. This program provides free books to children from birth to age five.

The event will be broadcasted and streamed on TVW ( and the Imagination Library of Washington and TVW social media channels at 2:30 pm on Tuesday, August 15.

To mark this milestone event, Governor Jay Inslee and Lt. Governor Denny Heck will sign a proclamation designating August 15 as "Imagination Library of Washington Day."

The celebration will feature a fireside chat with the county music singer, a brief performance, and recognition of champions who have contributed to the program's success from across the state.

"We welcome the great Dolly Parton to celebrate our statewide program and promote registration for our youngest learners into the Imagination Library,” the governor stated. “It is important to get high-quality books to children from a young age and ensure that their families and unique races, ethnicities, and identities are well-represented among the selection of books."

With the library’s statewide coverage, parents are encouraged to register their children aged from birth to five and receive a complimentary book each month from the Imagination Library. Caregivers can complete an online or print registration form through their county affiliate to enroll their child, who will receive a selected, age-appropriated new book delivered to their homes without cost to their families.

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library seeks to foster a passion for reading among young children and their families. The program achieves this by giving children free and specially selected books monthly.

Parton's Imagination Library of Washington was established in June 2022 through a legislative directive, sponsored by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) and administered by United Ways of the Pacific Northwest.

Before this new statewide commitment, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library was only available in a handful of Washington regions. More than 65,000 children in Washington are enrolled in the program, and more than 1.6 million books have been gifted to children across the state.

"It's been an honor to support the expansion of early literacy across Washington," State Superintendent Chris Reykdal said. "By providing free books to our youngest learners, the Imagination Library is breaking down barriers to skills that will support Washington children for a lifetime. OSPI is grateful to our partners for supporting this work."

Reykdal acknowledged the Imagination Library's efforts in breaking down barriers to skills that will support Washington children for a lifetime. "It has been an honor to support the expansion of early literacy across Washington…OSPI is grateful to our partners for supporting this work."

"Books develop literacy habits, strengthen ties between adults and children, and help children overcome intergeneration poverty," DCYF Secretary Ross Hunter commented.

Executive Director of Imagination Library of Washington, Brooke Fisher-Clark, commended the dedicated team, program affiliates, state leaders and partners for their commitment to achieving the vision for Washington children and ensuring equitable access to world-class literacy opportunities.

According to the Imagination Library website, the initiative has expanded globally, with over 213 million books gifted to more than 2.5 million children in the program.

Inspired by her father's inability to read and write, the music legend started a program to provide free books to children in her home county home in East Tennessee in 1995.

The program has expanded to five countries, with a total of more than 213 million books to over 2.5 million children.

Extensive research spanning decades has consistently shown that access to books at home plays a crucial role in fostering a love for reading and nurturing a conducive literacy environment. The program instills a passion for reading and cultivates essential skills for a successful transition into kindergarten.

Editor's note: this article was edited to reflect that the event is online access, 8/8/2023.


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