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Dolly Parton's book-gifting program to expand across Colorado

Gov. Jared Polis and Parton announced the statewide expansion of the Imagination Library.

DENVER — Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program, which gives books to children from birth to age 5 free of charge, will expand across all of Colorado, state leaders announced this week.

The book-gifting program has put more than 1.9 million books into the hands of children since it launched in 1995. Colorado currently has 30 Imagination Library programs that cover portions of the state, getting books to 16,100 children per month, according to the program.

On Tuesday, Gov. Jared Polis and Education Commissioner Katy Anthes announced the expansion of the program, which they hope will reach children in every zip code in the state.

Click here for the Imagination Library Colorado program website.

“Developing an early love for reading is so important for children’s success, and the Imagination Library shows Colorado’s commitment to making sure that every child and family can succeed,” Polis said in the release. “I’m thrilled that more Colorado children will have access to the books they need to develop a passion for reading and drive their imaginations even further.” 

"I'm so excited to be working with Governor Polis, the Department of Education, and our Colorado affiliate organization to bring my Imagination Library to more children and families across Colorado! Together we can gift a love of reading that will last a lifetime," Parton said.

The program works by sending high-quality, age-appropriate books each month through the mail to registered children ages 0 to 5. Parents can check here to see whether they can register for a program in their area.

In the first year of the expansion, the program plans to form partnerships with community organizations to promote the program, to assist with program startups and enrollment, and to build statewide partnerships for the program's long-term sustainability, according to the release.

The Imagination Library program, operated by The Dollywood Foundation, is in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and the Republic of Ireland. The program's first affiliate in Colorado launched in 2005.

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