The Imagination Library Project is a literacy initiative launched by Dolly Parton and her foundation in 1996. Through a unique partnership between the United Way, First Steps, and the seven Spartanburg County School Districts, we initiated our program in October 2001. After just a few short years, the program has touched the lives of over 37,800 young people, representing more than 48% of all eligible children in Spartanburg and Union Counties.

Program Overview
Any registered child under the age of five living in Spartanburg or Union County receives a free age-appropriate book each month in the mail. While the DollyWood Foundation oversees the selection and delivery of the books, it is up to the local community to raise the funds. United Way of the Piedmont serves as the primary fundraiser for the project and is charged with the responsibility of securing $30 per child per year to support program costs.

Program Impact
Countless studies tout the relationship between early literacy and school performance. By providing the children of our community with twelve quality, age-appropriate books each year, we seek to

  • Increase children’s access to books
  • Encourage parents to read more often to their children
  • Support children in the development of a love for reading
  • Better prepare children to begin school

A recent study of Imagination Library graduates in Spartanburg and Union Counties reveals that 94% read to their children more frequently, 97% feel their children’s love of reading is enhanced, 97% of parents feel their children would have access to fewer books without the program, and 91% feel their children are better prepared for school because of Imagination Library!

How to Sign Up

Unfortunately, due to an increase in interest and limited resources, all new registrants will be added to our waiting list. Once funds are available, children on our waiting list will be enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis. Children already enrolled in the program will not be affected and will continue to receive books; however, all new registrants received will be added to our waiting list. To register your child with Imagination Library, click here. Anyone who lives in Spartanburg or Union Counties of South Carolina may register their children in this free program.  If you live in Cherokee County, click here to register.

How to Support Imagination Library

United Way of the Piedmont has set a goal to raise sponsorships for 500 children in the program by the end of June 2017! Please help us reach our goal by sponsoring one or more children to receive a book every month for a year.