Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

October 25, 2022Community Funds, Education

Dolly Parton is known for three things: her music, her big hair, and her big heart for early literacy! But the latter is why the country artist and humanitarian’s Imagination Library has continued to grow throughout the country.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library allows children from birth to age 5 to receive a free age-appropriate book each month, mailed directly to their family’s home regardless of the family’s income. With the support of a dollar-to-dollar match from Kentucky State Department of Education, this program is expanding statewide with the goal of reaching children in each of Kentucky’s 120 counties.

To leverage this state funding, Blue Grass Community Foundation has committed more than $100,000 in grant funding to support the program in the 19 counties it serves in Central and Eastern Kentucky. The funding is made possible through a collective effort from different funds at BGCF, including the McAdam Early Childhood & Literacy Fund, Chris Stapleton’s Outlaw State of Kind Hometown Fund, Clark County Community Foundation, the Franklin, Harrison, Madison and Rowan County community funds, and an anonymous fund.

As more children enroll, the nonprofits that administer the program locally must continue to raise funds (with the state match, the annual cost of the program is $12.50 per child), so BGCF has committed grant funding over the next three years to keep momentum going and ensure every child has the opportunity to grow their own library and their imagination!

“We are so excited to partner with our fundholders to provide the gift of books and ignite the love of reading in children in the communities we serve,” said Lisa Adkins, president/CEO of BGCF. “Research shows increasing a child’s access to books can boost a child’s early literacy skills and school readiness. We are pleased to make an investment that will positively impact thousands of children in Central and Eastern Kentucky.”

If you are interested in learning more about supporting the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in a local community or enrolling your child or grandchild to receive books, please contact BGCF Director of Grants + Scholarships Kristen Tidwell at