Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program available across Kentucky

All Kentucky children 5 years old and under are now eligible to receive free books though Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program, Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced Wednesday.

The program has operated in parts of the state for the past decade and is now available statewide due to dollar-match funding by Kentucky lawmakers and local community programs, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Those funds combined with funding from the Dolly Foundation can put “high quality books in the hands of a Kentucky child for just over $1 for each child each month,” the statement adds.

Under the program, children 5 and under can have a free age-appropriate book sent to their homes in the mail once a month.

“As Governor, and as a dad, I’m proud that Team Kentucky has come together to reach this historic milestone for our kids,” Beshear said in a statement. “I hope parents and guardians across the commonwealth will sign their kids up for the Imagination Library today. Thank you to Dolly Parton and every local partner for your investment in Kentucky’s children.”

The state’s 124 local program partners mailed more than 112,000 books to children in May alone, according to the governor’s office.

Some studies have found the program has helped develop early literacy skills among children, according the program’s website.

Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has given 240 million free books to children across the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom, according to the program’s website.

The program delivers more than 3 million books to children’s homes every month. Parents and other family members can enroll a child in the program here.

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