Imagination Library of Johnson County
Type of Fund: Charitable Organization
Established By: Imagination Library of Johnson County
The purpose of the fund shall be to provide support to Imagination Library of Johnson County.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library began in 1996 in Sevier County, Tennessee, when Ms. Parton wanted to “stimulate children’s imaginations and encourage reading within the family at an early age.” She provided one book a month to children from birth to age 5, for a total of 60 free books by the time the children entered kindergarten. In 1999, she began offering the books nationwide and even internationally by inviting communities to set up affiliate programs. The Imagination Library has now sent over 85.4 million books to preschoolers.
The Imagination Library began in Franklin, Indiana, in 2017, in response to data showing that 40% of kindergarteners in the Franklin Community School Corporation are not able to recognize letters and their sounds when they enter kindergarten. A child starting kindergarten without these basic skills may struggle to read fluently by fourth grade, and since fourth grade is the point where students transition from learning to read to reading to learn, those without strong reading skills by fourth grade often struggle in higher grades. Studies have shown that proficient literacy by fourth grade leads to greater academic success and higher high school graduation rates, and children are more likely to read proficiently by fourth grade if they have been exposed to books before they enter kindergarten.