Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Expands Footprint in Mecklenburg County

August 2022

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Amid the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library of Mecklenburg County has continued to mail children enrolled in the Charlotte area a free, high-quality, age-appropriate book to their house every month. The organization currently delivers free, age-appropriate books to over 29,000 Mecklenburg County children each month.

In 2021, the Imagination Library announced an innovative way to get books into the hands of young children by partnering with various MECK Pre-K classroom locations. The program has since expanded its footprint by increasing repurposed newspaper bins as Free Little Libraries to an additional ten locations. These new locations bring the total to twenty Little Libraries throughout the Charlotte area.

"The Little Libraries initiative is a great way to help children build their home libraries. We are dedicated to improving literacy rates in Mecklenburg County. We know the first step is providing children access to age-appropriate books to build literacy skills. Our community partners continue to make this possible by graciously hosting our Little Libraries," stated Ayesha Rahim, Literacy Coordinator.

Any family with children ages 0 5 is eligible to sign up at no cost to them. According to The Imagination Library, reading initiatives like this partnership is imperative, especially in times such as these, to encourage early literacy within the community. The parents enrolled in DPIL reported an increase in children's reading daily from 50% to 72%. Daily shared reading is a strong indicator of early literacy, which is foundational for school success.

We thank our Little Library community partners:

1.         Smart Kids CDC #8
2.         Smart Kids 9
3.         Pee Wee's Little People
4.         Dixon Academy
5.         Cadence Academy Ballantyne
6.         University CDC at Highland Creek
7.         Early Foundations Academy
8.         Absolute Child Care
9.         Cadence Academy Kenton
10.       Smart Kids CDC 7
11.       Cadence Academy Eastfield
12.       Sunshine House #109
13.       Alliance Center for Education-Brightwalk
14.       Childcare network#53
15.       Larry King Club House
16.       Freedom Communities - Bright Future Learning Center
17.       Community Support Services
18.       Alliance Center for Education-Mcalpine
19.       Alliance Center for Education - Oaklawn
20.       Children & Family Services Center