The Imagination Library will soon be available to all children under five in Colorado!
Governor Jared Polis, Education Commissioner Katy Anthes and the Imagination Library of Colorado joined American icon Dolly Parton during National Family Literacy Month to announce the Colorado statewide expansion of her namesake Imagination Library book-gifting program. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is dedicated to inspiring a love of reading by gifting books each month to children from birth to age five, free of charge through funding shared by local community partners.
“I’m so excited to be working with Governor Polis, the Department of Education, and our Colorado state partner to bring my Imagination Library to more children and families across Colorado! Together we can gift a love of reading that will last a lifetime,” said Dolly.
Goals for Expansion
The goal of the statewide expansion is to make books available to children ages 0-5 in every zip code in Colorado. Colorado has 30 programs covering portions of Colorado’s 64 counties. Currently, four percent of eligible children in the state are receiving books through existing community-based programs.
“One of my goals is to make Colorado the very best state for children and families, and the Imagination Library embodies our commitment to make sure that every child and family thrives. We know that the most important factor in a child’s success is an early introduction to books,” Governor Polis said. “We are proud now to connect our kids with the resources they need to succeed through this statewide expansion.”
In year one of the expansion, the Imagination Library of Colorado will:
- Form partnerships with local community organizations. These local partners/affiliates are the heart of the program. They promote the program online and at in-person events, fundraise, and enroll children who live within their geographical area. A local program affiliate must be a 501(c)(3), though several organizations may form a coalition of support and leadership. Examples include businesses, school districts, service clubs, local foundations, etc. To learn more about becoming a local program affiliate, contact Pam Hunsaker at [email protected] .
- Assist with program start-up and enrollment strategies in local communities.
- Build and sustain strong statewide partnerships to assure long-term sustainability of the overall initiative.
“Ensuring that students are reading at grade level by third grade is one of our most important priorities here at the Department of Education,” said Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes. “It will be so exciting for children and families to get a book delivered to their home every month, and we know it will help children develop a lifelong love of reading and set them up for success in school. We are so grateful to the partners who are expanding the Imagination Library program statewide, including the governor, the state legislature, the State Board of Education and of course, The Dollywood Foundation. ”
“We are grateful for the strong bipartisan effort to ensure that all children in Colorado, from ages zero to five, will have the opportunity to enhance and enrich their lives with books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, ” said Jack Tate, CEO of the Imagination Library of Colorado. “Like a ground-breaking ceremony, we celebrate beginning the hard work ahead forming partnerships with additional community based organizations so we can get books to all eligible Colorado children.”
Register a Child
Learn more and enroll now by visiting imaginationlibrarycolorado.org and don’t forget to check back as we expand programs across the state!