Imagination Library

“My daughter literally does a happy dance when she opens the mailbox and sees a new book has arrived,” says one Imagination Library parent. “We can’t start reading soon enough — it’s the cutest thing. I love seeing her love for books grow.”

About Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

The seeds of success in life are planted at birth. While experiences, developed relationships, and community support are all vital for an individual to be successful, there’s a very simple addition to life that can significantly improve one’s chances of being happy and healthy: books.

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library brings books to children's homes. From birth until they turn five years old, children enrolled in the program will receive a new, age-appropriate book mailed to their home each month. By the time they enter kindergarten, children will have their own library of books and be more prepared to enter school and become readers.

Imagination Library is funded by generous donations to United Way of Rock River Valley. There is no cost to any child residing in Winnebago County.

Since first bringing Imagination Library to Winnebago County three years ago, United Way has provided more than 90,000 books to over 5,000 children in our community.

Families that live in Winnebago County with children under the age of five are qualified to register. Because it takes approximately 90 days before the first book arrives, children turning five within three months of registering will not receive a book.

A donation of $30 provides a year's worth of books to one child. A $150 donation provides five year's worth of books to a child. Any amount will help in creating successful readers in the Rock River Valley, and a brighter future for us all.

Looking at early literacy development, research shows a connection between infants mouthing words, the book handling behavior of a two year old, and the page turning and comprehension ability of a five year old. The first five years of exploring with books, singing nursery rhymes, listening to stories, and recognizing words are the building blocks for language and literacy development.

To register for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, click below.

Half of the cost of the Imagination Library program in Winnebago County is funded by a generous state grant from the State of Illinois. The other half is funded by United Way of Rock River Valley thanks to generous donors like you. Without you, we could not bring this innovative program to our community. Thank you!