Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) and Smart Start just reached their 1 Millionth Book delivered to North Carolina children! DPIL is a program created to foster a love of reading among children age birth to five through the gift of a specially selected book delivered right to their home each month. The books are specially selected age-appropriate, high-quality titles. Each one is personalized with the child’s name and mailed directly to the child’s home, along with helpful tips for parents and caregivers.
“What an incredible milestone,” stated Cindy Watkins, the President of the North Carolina Partnership for Children that oversees the Smart Start network. “I am grateful to our state leadership for recognizing how important it is to get books into the hands of our youngest children. With this funding, the Smart Start network was able to get Imagination Library directly to our communities very quickly.”
During the 2017 legislative session, North Carolina state lawmakers included $3.5 million in the first year of the budget and $7 million in the second year for the Smart Start network to offer free books through Imagination Library to children across the state. Smart Start began rolling out Imagination Library in October 2017, and the program is now available to every child in the state under the age of five. With 75 local partnerships across the state, Smart Start continues to enroll young children to get as many books into the homes of North Carolina children as possible.
Locally, Durham’s Partnership for Children (the Partnership), a partner in the Smart Start network, leads DPIL for Durham County. Since receiving this new funding in March, 2018, the Partnership has enrolled 5,564 children so far. In just 10 short months, the Partnership sent over 33,450 books to children in the Durham community! Registration for DPIL is a rolling basis and always open for children birth to age 5 who reside in Durham County. Each month, a new book will be mailed directly to each child, at no cost or obligation to the family. Families can learn more, check eligibility, and register a child by visiting www:dpfc.net/imaginationlibrary. (Please note that it takes approximately 6 weeks after enrollment for the first book to arrive.)