In late 2020, Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services (PPCS) started exploring the possibility of bringing Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to Pierce and Pepin Counties. After receiving approval from the board of directors, it took several months to get the necessary affiliate agreements signed, as well as establish a charitable foundation, Pierce Pepin Cares, to act as the local program affiliate. The Imagination Library was finally launched on August 7, 2021.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is open to every child living in Pierce or Pepin County, from birth to age five, regardless of financial status. Each child enrolled in the program receives a free, age-appropriate book via the United States Postal Service every month. The Dollywood Foundation pays for the books and Pierce Pepin Cares pays for the postage.
Families have provided positive feedback on the value of the Imagination Library. “What a fun surprise every month!” said Anna Carlson. “We are thrilled to be a part of such an awesome program.”
Megan Hagar agreed, “My kids love getting a new surprise book each month in the mail. As parents, we love the quality of each book, and the stories are always geared toward their age group.”
Dolly Parton established the Imagination Library in 1995 to honor her father who was illiterate. Her goal is to instill a love of reading in children at an early age to help ensure future success in school. The Dollywood Foundation now mails two million books every month in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Ireland. In Wisconsin, there are 24 Imagination Library program affiliates with 23,675 children currently enrolled. The Pierce Pepin Imagination Library has served 718 children, with 626 currently enrolled, and 92 graduated.
PPCS is eager to build on the success of the Imagination Library’s first year and reach even more children. Families can register their children at www.piercepepin.coop under the My Community tab.