*Please note, all of the links in this post are anchored in the USA part of the site. If you are visiting from Canada or the UK, (welcome!), please choose your starting point from the site's main homepage.*
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. It's a program I found out about last summer through our local library. I had never heard of it before, and when I stopped in one day with Abby in the stroller (only a month or two old!), the librarian gave me the information and our first free book. I mailed in the registration form and a month or two later began receiving books -- one every month, addressed to Abby.
The idea is that children should have the opportunity to develop a love of reading, so any child signed up for the program will receive one book every month until they turn 5 years old. Since I started when Abby was a newborn, we will have received almost 60 books once we're through!
There is no cost or fee to sign up for this program, if it is already established in your area. It is paid for by donations from the community. When I sent in our registration form, it did include information on how much it cost to provide the books, and I felt compelled to send in a donation. But it is not required.
So how do you get your child involved? First you can check out the affiliate page on the website, and see if something has already been established in your community. When we moved into our new house, we became residents of a new county, one with a DPIL program through the County ISD. You can also go directly to the online registration page and input your mailing address, and it will tell you if a program is available for you.
If a program is not currently available in your area, maybe you'd like to start one. The website describes it this way:
"A community must make the program accessible to all preschool children in their area. The community pays for the books and mailing, promotes the program, registers the children, and enters the information into the database. From there The Dollywood Foundation takes over and manages the system to deliver the books to the home. You can find out more of the operational details on other pages in this website – so what are you waiting for! Hundreds of communities are providing books to hundreds of thousands of children. Let your town be the next one."
You can find how much the program would cost your community on the Get Involved page, and then you can find your local/regional contact person on the Contact Us page.
I hope you have the opportunity to be part of it with your children! This really is such a great program. As someone who loves to read, I hope I can foster a love of reading in my own kid(s).