Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is an early literacy initiative that provides new, age-appropriate books to children each month for the first five years of their lives FOR FREE, regardless of their family’s income. The program encourages parents to read with their children, giving them a big boost toward a successful education. The early years are the learning years. Birth to age six is the most critical for a child’s development. By the time a child reaches six years of age, they have in place fundamental traits that greatly affect their prospects to succeed throughout life. Daily reading directly impacts healthy development, like other routine activities such as eating, sleeping, and brushing teeth. In the time it takes to read a book, thousands of new connections are created in a child’s brain that help them read, write, and communicate. Books introduce new words and help children understand the meaning of those words, enabling them to become better readers. We can prepare children for a lifetime of success in reading and learning simply by providing them with the gift of books.
United Way of Southeast Louisiana launched the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in 2013, made possible through the support of a communitywide coalition of individuals, businesses, government, and literacy professionals. The program’s books are funded through private and corporate local donations. At this time, funding is only available in St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Jefferson parishes.
We continue to be the local Imagination Library affiliate in Jefferson, St. Tammany, and Tangipahoa parishes, and we are now the local affiliate for the Plaquemines, Orleans, St. Bernard, and Washington parishes programs thanks to the statewide expansion in 2023. These programs are not possible without community funding. We need new, continuous funding in each parish to become eligible for the state’s matching funds and begin accepting registrations.
Supporting the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in one of the parishes we serve is as simple as giving. Your generosity can make a meaningful impact, enabling us to provide books to more children, nurture their love for reading, and create more opportunities for their success.
Without public support, we cannot sustain this vital program.
The 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 in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes.
For a donation of just $150, you will provide ONE book per MONTH to a child in the parish of your choice for the first FIVE years of life.
Thank you for helping ensure our children have a strong start in life.
$30 sponsors one child for one year.
$150 sponsors one child for the complete program from birth to age five.
Parents and Guardians
We are currently unable to enroll new readers in the program until we receive additional funding.
Please bookmark this page or follow us on social media so we can let you know when we open the process.