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Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Reaches A Milestone


United Way Posted by: United Way 10 months ago

In May 2023, United Way reached a monthly high of 2,036 children enrolled in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a book gifting program for children under the age of five in Kosciusko County. 

Since the program began in 2020, more than 3,000 children have been involved, with 1,100 having graduated.

We’ve also been able to deliver more than 100,000 books to our community in an effort to build strong readers in our community.

“Early literacy is the key to all learning,” says Dr. Dani Barkey, Deputy Superintendent of Warsaw Schools. “When a child has access to reading before they start kindergarten, they are then poised for success.”

The program launched in April 2002, during the height of the pandemic lockdown.

“United Way wanted to make sure that our children knew the community still cared while they were at home,” says Darren
Bickel, United Way President.

The initiative started after feedback from kindergarten teachers indicated that many families either had very few or no children’s books in their homes.

The books distributed by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library are made especially for the children in the program and shipped directly to their mailboxes.

When a child tears open the shrink wrap around their
book, they are the first person to ever touch their brand new book.

“The most amazing part of the program has been its reach,” says Joy Goshert, a United Way volunteer. “

When we look at the addresses involved in the program, every community in the county is represented from Claypool to Etna Green to Milford.”

To be eligible for the program, children must live in Kosciusko
County and be under the age of five.

Families can sign up at United Way’s website using this link: