Rotary Club of College Park Sponsors Imagination Library
In 1996, Dolly Parton launched an exciting new effort. Dolly's vision was to foster a love of reading among preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.
Dolly’s Imagination Library has became so popular that since the initial program launch in the United States, the Imagination Library has gone from just a few dozen books to more than 120,000,000 books mailed to children in the United States, into Canada and across the proverbial pond into the United Kingdom! Already statistics and independent reports have shown Dolly Parton's Imagination Library drastically improves early childhood literacy for children enrolled in the program. Further studies have shown improved scores during early literacy testing.
Parton was a speaker at the 2010 RI Convention in Montréal, Québec, Canada, where she received Paul Harris Fellow Recognition and shared her appreciation for Rotary's efforts to promote literacy. Rotary International and the Dollywood Foundation's Imagination Library are collaborating to promote early childhood reading.
Rotary Club of College Park became a partner with the Dollywood Foundation in 2012 and since that time has distributed almost 13,000 books to families in the area – at no cost to the parents! There is simply no limit on how far we can take this program, but it is an absolute impossibility without financial help. We primarily serve zip codes 32804, 32805, 32808 and 32810. There are thousands of eligible children in those areas and we are able to serve only a few of them with available financial resources. At this time our Club’s funding is provided primarily from some of the proceeds of the Club’s annual Taste of College Park. No other organization in Central Florida is sponsoring this proven early childhood literacy program at this time.