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Dolly Parton's Imagination Library comes to Champaign County

URBANA - The Imagination Library, founded by Country music legend and humanitarian Dolly Parton, is now available to Champaign Country residents. Funded by Parton and the Dollywood Foundation, who cover much of the overhead costs and administration needs, the cost for books and postage is taken care of by local programs, the United Way of Champaign County.

Each month, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library mails a high-quality, age-appropriate book to all eligible registered children at no cost to the family. Books are carefully selected and mailed addressed with the child's name.

Photo Cottonbro Studio/PEXELS

Parents who read to their babies and young children lay the neurological pathways in the brain for building effective language use as well as reading and writing proficiency.

Eligibility is open to all children under the age of 5 who live in Champaign County, Illinois. Books are sent monthly until the child turns five years old and as long as they live within the covered geographic area.

Some titles include Baby! Talk!, Pudgy Pat A Cake, Who Says Quack?, and Look at the Animals for kids born this year to In Our Garden, Wild Horses, You Can Be ABC, Wonder Walker, and I’m Not Scared, You’re Scared for children in the the age four to five group.

The Champaign County program is funded by donors via the Community Impact Fund and The State of Illinois. Parton's initiative has gifted over 224,249,899 books since its start in 1995 in Parton's hometown of Sevier County, Tennessee.

Studies have shown that kids whose parents or guardians read to them regularly during their early years perform better academically as they progress through the educational system. It is never too early or too late to read to children.

Parents interested in registering the children can follow this link to register today. The first book should arrive approximately eight to twelve weeks after registraion and will arrive monthly.