Free book giving program
The PEI Literacy Alliance launched the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program on September 30, 2020, in partnership with Rotary Clubs and the Province of Prince Edward Island. The launch was held at their 30th Annual General Meeting.
The Imagination Library, a free book giving program, will be available to Island children ages 0-4. Each month, registered children will receive high-quality books by mail, at no cost to families.
“We are thrilled to help build libraries in Island homes because we know that access to books has a positive impact on lifelong learning.” says Nathan Steeves, Chair at the PEI Literacy Alliance. “While looking for ways to expand our existing Free Books for Kids program, we were approached by Senator Dianne Griffin about the Imagination Library. Senator Griffin has since been key in moving this initiative forward.”
Dolly Parton first launched this program in 1995 to inspire a love of reading, and it’s working. Parents registered with the program say their children are excited to receive books in the mail and are more interested in learning how to read.
“As parents and caregivers, we are our children’s first and most important teachers. Through the Imagination Library initiative, Island families will be able to support their children in developing important literacy and language skills through the gift of books and reading,” said Premier Dennis King.
“When we invest in our children’s literacy we are creating an opportunity for them to be successful and building a brighter future for many generations of Islanders.”
The Imagination Library has been successfully growing in Canada since 2006. It reaches more children than any other early childhood book giving program worldwide. This program is now available to up to 2,000 children in PEI this year with funding from the Province of PEI and Rotary Clubs of Charlottetown, Montague and Eastern PEI and Charlottetown Royalty. By 2023, the PEI Literacy Alliance expects the program will grow to serve 4000 children.
“As a Rotarian, I am thrilled that the Rotary Clubs of Charlottetown, Montague and Eastern PEI and Charlottetown Royalty have signed on to support bringing Imagination Library to PEI. Given that literacy is one of Rotary’s six areas of focus, I think that this will prove to be a fruitful collaboration for years to come.” says Senator Diane Griffin.
“Access to books is one of the most powerful avenues to support a child’s ability to read and foster a love reading,” said Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning, Brad Trivers. “By giving children at-home access to a variety of good books, we are helping them develop as readers, writers and lifelong learners.”
Children ages 0-4 are eligible to participate in this program. Beginning September 30, families can register online at www.peiliteracy.ca.
Family Literacy Director
PEI Literacy Alliance
About the PEI Literacy Alliance
Founded in 1990, the Alliance works to achieve its mission to advance literacy for Islanders by:
- delivering free literacy programs and services
- raising awareness of literacy
- partnering with organizations, communities, businesses and government departments to share knowledge, build capacity, and deliver programs.
About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the pre-eminent early childhood book gifting program in the world.
The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation has mailed well over 140 million free books in Australia, Canada, The Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom and the United States. The Imagination Library mails more than 1.6 million high-quality, age-appropriate books each month to registered children from birth to age five.
Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading, inspiring them to dream. The impact of the program has been widely researched and results suggest positive increases in key early childhood literacy metrics. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.