While this is not a BigWords title, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is such an important resource for families and communities, I need to post about it here to spread the word.
Dolly Parton established Imagination Library ten years ago as a gift to the world. She mails a book a month to every child from birth to five in participating communities. It is offered worldwide and is currently serving nearly a million kids. Researchers have studied the effects and found daily read-alouds increased in Imagination Library communities increased dramatically!
Schools, faith groups, United Ways, community foundations, and individuals sponsor the programs and take donations. Participating communities commit to serving all children within a defined geographic area, insuring that kids from all socioeconomic strata receive the same books. Parents describe joyful kids racing to the mailbox and insisting on hearing the stories over and over and over. Family connections are built and brains are developed in homes receiving these incredible books.
New magic happens when Imagination Library children meet in kindergarten classrooms. They see familiar books, race to the bookshelves, and yell, “I have this book!” Friends circle, declaring, “So do I!” An instant connection is formed around the shared experience and passion. These children begin with a shared lexicon from which to grow and learn together.
Big words matter.
I’m working to get Imagination Library in my community. Check here to see if it is in yours. If not, contact your regional director to find out how to get it there.