Children’s reading scores improve dramatically when parents are involved in helping them learn to read.

According to the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, the peak period for children developing neural connections related to language is around nine months of age. One of the easiest and most effective ways to build the language neural connections in a young child’s brain is to read to them.
Lancaster County First Steps is the local sponsor of Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which provides free age-appropriate books to children age birth to 5 years. Operated by the Dollywood Foundation, Imagination Library is currently in more than 1,600 communities internationally and mails books to about 700,000 children each month.

Children who register with Lancaster County First Steps receive one book per month by mail through the month of their fifth birthday. All books are quality, age-appropriate books carefully selected for each age group by a committee of educational specialists.

More about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library:

• Lancaster County children in this program (Ages birth to 5) receive one age appropriate book per month.
• Currently 1,000 children are receiving books, but 5,207 children in Lancaster are eligible for the program.
• The greatest at-risk children are targeted, but all Lancaster County children under 5 years of age are eligible.

The cost to administer is only $30 per year per child                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Imagination Library Works:

  • 97% of participants are extremely satisfied with program.
  • Increased literacy materials provided in every home served.
  • Served 79% greatest at-risk children.

To sign up, please call the Lancaster County First Steps’s office at (803) 286-8000

or sign up online at Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library  

  Required Information

  • Name of child
  • Birth date of child
  • Name of parent
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number
  • Email address.