Why is it named after Dolly Parton?

The program was originally started by Dolly Parton in her home state of Tennessee. Literacy was an issue for Dolly’s family and neighbors so she created the foundation to give back to her home community. Now she is making the program available to communities all across the United States through her foundation. Ionia ISD is one of a handful of communities in the state of Michigan to offer the program. It will require the entire community’s support to make it a priority to donate to the program year after year.

What is so important about having books in the home?

According to Steven Bialostok in his book Raising Readers, the single most important factor influencing children’s literacy (speaking, reading, and writing) is the amount of time they are read to. He outlines nine stages a child goes through to become an independent reader. The first six: Learning to love books, Enjoying the meaning of books, Learning how books work, Discovering that print has meaning, Memorizing books and Rehearsing books all happen before a child goes to school assuming they have access to books in the home. Research also shows that children who are read to at young ages outperform their peers who were not read to. This effect lasts throughout their school years and into adulthood.

What is the process for enrolling my child?

Enrollment forms are located in local schools, libraries, community organizations and online by clicking the enroll now link on the DPIL page. Once the form is complete and mailed back to the Ionia ISD, the child’s information will be entered into the Dolly Parton Imagination Library database. On the 10th of every month the names are pulled by the Dolly Parton Foundation and the books are mailed from Tennessee. It takes approximately 6-8 weeks, for the first book to arrive at the child’s home!

The first book your child will receive is The Little Engine that Could. All of the books your child receives after that are based upon the year they were born. The month the child turns five, they will receive Kindergarten Here I Come which will be there last book. If a child were to participate from birth, they would have a complete home library of 60 books by the time they turned five at a very low cost of only $135.00.