A week to honor a year of Imagination

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Peggy Hubbard, Marshall Countyís coordinator for the Imagination Library program, read to the two-year-old class at First United Methodist Church on Thursday.
Tribune photo by Scott Pearson

Dolly Parton is known to millions for her long and storied career in music.

Chances are, however, if you are under a certain age in Tennessee you know Dolly Parton for the books she sends you every month.

This week honors one of the most successful grassroots programs developed in the state, Dolly Partonís Imagination Library.

County coordinator for the program, Peggy Hubbard, says that the program is growing every year in Marshall County.

Last year, the program provided over 1,200 books per month to children in Marshall County. Hubbard said that the number of enrollees has climbed to 1,384 this year.

Since its start here, the program had delivered close to 155,000 books to children in the county.

Imagination Library grew out of an idea Parton had in 1995 to provide books to children in her Sevier County home.

The program took off, expanding to all 95 Tennessee counties, to several other states, and four foreign countries, as well.

The program is open to all children in the state, from birth to 5-years-old. Age appropriate books are mailed to the family every month, at no cost to the family.

The Governorís Books From Birth Foundation was founded in 2004 by Governor Phil Bredesen in support of Imagination Library by covering half of the cost.

Twelve dollars covers the cost of a child for the entire year, and thanks to volunteers, 100 percent of funds donated in Marshall County go directly to purchase books.

Applications are available in maternity wards across the state, at the Marshall County Health Department, and at the Marshall County Memorial Library.

Parents can enroll their children online as well.