COLUMBUS, Ohio — Country music superstar Dolly Parton made a visit to Columbus on Tuesday to celebrate the success of her Imagination Library program in Ohio.
The program mails children one book each month from birth to five years old. In Ohio, 343,490 children are enrolled, which makes up 48% of eligible children signed up in the state.
Parton’s visit was part of the 2022 Inaugural First Lady’s Luncheon which was emceed by 10TV's Angela An. Ahead of her visit, Gov. DeWine declared the Aug. 9, 2022 Dolly Parton Day in Ohio.
“It is an incredible honor to host Dolly Parton and celebrate the success of her book gifting program here in Ohio,” said First Lady Fran DeWine. “Ohio’s Imagination Library is thriving, and we are truly blessed to have so many supporters of the program in every community across our great state. These books are changing the lives of so many children and preparing them for kindergarten—and life!”
During the luncheon, Gov. Mike DeWine noted that more Ohio children are receiving Imagination Library books from the program than in any other state.
Fran DeWine hosted a fireside chat with Parton, where she explained the importance of the program.
Parton created the program in 1995 for children living in Sevier County, Tennessee. She was inspired to start the program by her father, who was illiterate.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has expanded nationally and internationally. The program was brought statewide to Ohio in 2019, under the guidance of Fran DeWine.
The first lady and Parton were both gifted a quilt from Ohio’s Imagination Library’s affiliates. The quilts include 88 squares, one for each of Ohio’s counties.
Additionally, Parton presented Fran DeWine with a copy of her book, Coat of Many Colors.
Ohio’s Imagination Library has 71 affiliates which covers 50% of the cost of books. The remaining cost of each book is covered by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio.
Through a partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, each Imagination Library book is $2.10.
All children in Ohio are eligible to enroll in the Imagination Library program and is available at no cost to families. Those interested in more information, can visit the program’s website.