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Service Project: Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Dolly Parton Imagination Library logoVictor Hugo once wrote: “To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” As members of Sigma Tau Delta, you don’t need to be reminded how literacy can open doors, create opportunities, and inspire communities to be great.

What is Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Impact on Childhood Literacy?

Dolly Parton began the Imagination Library in 1995 to encourage early childhood literacy in her home county in East Tennessee. The goal was to provide high-quality, age-appropriate books to all children, regardless of their family’s financial situation, from birth to 5th birthday. Since then, the Imagination Library has mailed over 149 million books to children in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia!

Other important statistics you should know about the Imagination Library:

  • It costs $25 to sponsor a child and provide them with twelve books over the course of the year. This covers the cost of the books and the postage. No administrative costs are taken from this program! Dolly Parton’s nonprofit, The Dollywood Foundation, covers administration and overhead costs.
  • Over 1.74 million children currently are enrolled in the Imagination Library.
  • Books are in English with two books/year in each age group in bilingual Spanish. Braille and audio books for visually impaired preschool children are available through a partnership with the American Printing House for the Blind.
  • Research and studies show that enrollment in Dolly Parton Imagination Library drastically improves early childhood literacy, strengthens home environment, and supports children’s optimal development; fundamentals that will benefit these children for the rest of their lives!

The Imagination Library's motto is "Dream More, Learn More, Care More, Be More." As members of Sigma Tau Delta, we always are striving to expand our creativity and our knowledge. Simply getting books into the home changes the trajectory of children, families and communities—you can help with this! It is now time to give back and spark imagination in the next generation of readers, writers, and dreamers by providing them with the tools necessary to aid literacy.

Sigma Tau Delta Participation

Join us as we showcase our expanded partnership with The Dollywood Foundation to help Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library during a time when traditional chapter fundraising presents challenges.

Help Dolly Expand Her Library

The Library that Dolly Built Facebook live event, on December 9 at 6:00 p.m. CST is intended to drive awareness of the Imagination Library and our local community partners, and the corresponding Facebook campaign is intended to help local programs fundraise.


Sigma Tau Delta Participation Opportunities

One: Call to Action—Help Drive Awareness

The Dollywood Foundation is very excited to announce the exclusive Facebook premiere of an Imagination Library documentary, The Library That Dolly Built, Celebrating the People Who Made Dolly’s Dream Come True, on December 9, 2020 at 6 p.m. CST, followed by a live Q&A and song from Dolly herself!

This event is intended to drive awareness of the Imagination Library and our local community!

Please spread the word about the premiere through your social media! We invite you to join us on Imagination Library's Facebook page to watch the documentary, but we also ask for your chapter's help in raising awareness with your audiences.

  • Attend the Help Dolly Expand Her Library Webinar on Thursday, November 19 at 6 p.m. CST.
  • Begin the Social Media Challenge (Monday, November 23 - December 9). See guidelines below.
  • Attend the The Library That Dolly Built, Celebrating the People Who Made Dolly’s Dream Come True, on December 9, 2020, 6:00 p.m. CST on Imagination Library's Facebook page.
  • Your chapter can consider hosting a Facebook watch party to enjoy The Library that Dolly Built. You could even include a fundraising option for the Imagination Library by selling tickets to your watch party.

Social Media Challenge Guidelines (November 23 - December 9, 2020)

  1. Share Sigma Tau Delta's social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram promoting the Library that Dolly Built Facebook live event on your personal and chapter social media accounts.
  2. Tag Sigma Tau Delta on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram in your own posts to your personal or chapter social media accounts talking about why you are excited about Dolly Parton's Imagination Library and promoting the live event.
  3. Add a We/I Support Dolly Parton's Imagination Library frame or a The Library That Dolly Built frame to your profile picture and tag the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society's Facebook page in your update.
At the end of the contest, all participants will be entered in a raffle drawing for autographed copies of Dolly Parton's books.

Two: Internship Opportunity

Active chapter members, consider applying for the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Spring Internship. Applications are due November 30, 2020.

Three: Service Opportunity

This January watch for a chapter interest survey to learn about how your members can become involved directly at the local level with an Imagination Library Affiliate.

Webinar on Demand: Help Dolly Expand Her Library

Originally Broadcast on November 19, 2020

Slide Deck

Additional Resources / Questions


If you have questions, please contact with the Subject Title "Imagination Library."