It’s a big deal when your baby turns one. You’ve spent the first year nurturing and watching as your baby starts to develop. You take pride in every new achievement.
We feel the same about our Imagination Library. We started exploring the possibility of bringing Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to Pierce and Pepin Counties in late 2020. It took several months to get the necessary affiliate agreements signed, as well as establish our charitable foundation, Pierce Pepin Cares. Finally, everything was in place, and we launched the program on August 7, 2021.
The Imagination Library is open to every child living in Pierce or Pepin County, from birth to age five, regardless of financial status. Each child enrolled in the program receives a free book via the United States Postal Service every month. The Dollywood Foundation pays for the books and Pierce Pepin Cares pays for the postage. To date, most of the funds used to pay for the postage have come from unclaimed capital credits.
We’ve received positive feedback from families on the value of the Imagination Library. “What a fun surprise every month!” said Anna Carlson. “We are thrilled to be a part of such an awesome program.”
Megan Hagar agreed, “My kids love getting a new surprise book each month in the mail. As parents, we love the quality of each book, and the stories are always geared toward their age group.”
Dolly Parton established the Imagination Library in 1995 to honor her father, who was illiterate. Her goal is to instill a love of reading in children at an early age to help ensure future success in school. The Dollywood Foundation now mails two million books every month in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Ireland. In Wisconsin, there are 24 Imagination Library program affiliates with 23,675 children currently enrolled. The Pierce Pepin Imagination Library has served over 700 children, with 619 currently enrolled, and 84 graduated.
We’re going to keep nurturing this baby—we’re eager to build on the success of our first year and reach even more children.—Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services