Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

The Imagination Library programme is intended to foster an interest in reading and love of books in children aged 0-5 years old living in low-income families in Westminster. The Junior League will work with the Dollywood Foundation’s Imagination Library and the publisher Penguin UK to mail one age-appropriate book per month to each enrolled child. We aim to reach 150 children on the programme.

The programme’s goal is to improve educational opportunities for underprivileged children as a means to ending the cycle of poverty.
Reading aloud to children has been identified as the “single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading.” (National Academy of Education, 1985.) Research indicates a strong correlation between early and consistent exposure to reading with academic success and increased confidence in children.

As this is the first year of the programme, the Junior League will partner with various community partners through whom we can register eligible children, and hold events to educate families about the value of reading aloud. The League will promote the programme through “reading days” and other community activities for children and their parents.

As Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen wrote, “The parents who read with their children and fill their houses with books produce the highest achievers. The rest are not helped to see that it’s through wide-ranging reading that their children can develop and improve.” Through the Imagination Library, the League will work to correct that imbalance among low-income London families.