Montana Kicks Off Statewide Expansion of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Jun 2, 2023 | Imagination Library, United States

Montana Kicks Off Statewide Expansion of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is now available to all children under five in Montana!

First Lady Gianforte of Montana joins Dolly Parton to announce the Montana 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 state and local community partners. Children must be registered by a parent or guardian in order to receive the books. There is no charge to register or receive the books. Age-appropriate books are mailed directly to the homes of registered children each month.

“I’m so excited to be launching my Imagination Library statewide in Montana! I want to send my very special thanks to First Lady Susan Gianforte for her partnership in making this amazing gift available to children and families across the state,” says Dolly.

Dolly Parton started the program in 1995 as a way to distribute books to the impoverished Tennessee county where she grew up. The state of Tennessee quickly adopted the program statewide. Since then, the nonprofit program has expanded into five countries. Montana is the sixteenth state to commit to achieving statewide coverage, with First Lady Gianforte announcing her Treasure State Foundation is supporting Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library programs in all 56 Montana counties .

Goals for Expansion

With this statewide expansion, books will be made available free to children ages birth to five years old in every county in Montana, regardless of the families’ income. Montana’s Imagination Library currently has 63 local program partners serving more than 13,000 of the state’s nearly 61,000 eligible children under age 5.

The program’s unique funding structure centers on local community partnerships and partnership from the Treasure State Foundation, a nonprofit organization, founded in 2021 by First Lady Susan Gianforte to ensure future First Spouses in Montana can promote the public good with their causes. The Treasure State Foundation is assisting local programs with funding.

“Literacy is critical for our kids and their development. When parents read to their kids or when a child reads, it engages them, it fires their imagination, and sparks their curiosity,” First Lady Susan Gianforte said. “The partnership between the Treasure State Foundation, the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and local organizations throughout communities in Montana is about making sure every Montanan has access to reading resources so they can dream, grow, and reach their full potential.”

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