Today, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation (DGLF) announced a $1 million donation to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library®. The grant is part of the DGLF’s 30th anniversary celebration in 2023 and will extend the Imagination Library’s work to provide free books to children from birth to age five.
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LEFT to RIGHT: Jeff Conyers, The Dollywood Foundation President; Dolly Parton; Jeff Owen, Dollar General Corporation Chief Executive Officer (Photo: Business Wire)
“Access to quality print materials and books play a critical role in children’s development of reading skills and in improving reading performance, and we are proud to continue our support of the Imagination Library as part of our 30th anniversary celebration,” said Denine Torr, executive director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. “Books help inspire imagination and foster critical thinking skills. We look forward to seeing the additional impact these funds and books will have.”
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation and Dollar General Corporation have a longstanding history of supporting Imagination Library programs. With this donation, DG and the DGLF have provided a total of more than $2.3 million to Imagination Library programs across the United States.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary year in 2023, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation was created by Dollar General’s former CEO, Cal Turner, Jr. in honor of his grandfather and DG co-founder, J.L. Turner, who was functionally illiterate. DGLF supports nonprofit organizations, schools, and libraries in their efforts to enhance quality classroom instruction, increase access to literacy programming, advance innovation and inspire the joy of reading. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than $233 million to support nearly 19.3 million individuals improve their lives through literacy and education.
“I first want to congratulate the Dollar General Literacy Foundation on an amazing 30 years of supporting literacy efforts across the country,” said Dolly Parton. “Dollar General has been a longtime supporter of our work with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, and this amazing gift will help us expand my Imagination Library to even more children and families. We share such similar personal stories that are at the heart of our passion for inspiring a love of reading, and I look forward to many more years of partnering on this work that means so much to us.”
Founded in 1995 in tribute to her father, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library book-gifting program began as a way to distribute books to Parton’s impoverished hometown community in Sevier County, Tennessee. Following the success, the state of Tennessee pledged to pursue statewide coverage in 2004 and today, Imagination Library serves readers in the United States, Canada , United Kingdom, Australia and the Republic of Ireland. The program recently announced it had gifted more than 2.4 million free books through more than 2,700 local program partners during June 2023, bringing its total to more than 211 million free books gifted since its inception.
About the Dollar General Literacy Foundation
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education. Since 1993, the Foundation has awarded more than $233 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 19.3 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency. Each year, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation provides financial support to schools, nonprofit organizations and libraries within a 15-mile radius of Dollar General stores and distribution centers. To learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation or apply for a literacy grant, visit www.dgliteracy.org.
About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book-gifting program in the world. The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has gifted over 200 million free books in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and The Republic of Ireland. This is achieved through funding shared by The Dollywood Foundation and Local Community Partners. The Imagination Library mails more than 2.5 million high-quality, age-appropriate books directly to children’s homes each month. Each child enrolled in the program receives one book per month from birth to age five - at no cost to families. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading and inspiring children to Dream More, Learn More, Care More and Be More.
The program’s impact has been widely researched, and results demonstrate its positive impact on early childhood development and literacy skills. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. For more information, please visit imaginationlibrary.com.