Macon County United Way and The Community Foundation launch Dolly Parton's Imagination Library for area youth

United Way of Decatur & Mid-Illinois (UWDMI) and The Community Foundation of Macon County (CFMC) have partnered to launch the Macon County Imagination Library, a program to mail free, high-quality, age-appropriate books monthly to Macon County children from their birth to age 5. This new initiative is an affiliate of the international Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, which was founded by the music superstar in 1995. Families must register in order to receive the books for their children.

“We are so excited to launch this program for our community,” said UWDMI President Debbie Bogle. “By having books in the home and encouraging adults to read to their kids, we are hoping that when [the children] enter kindergarten, they will be ready to read. This program is perfect for Macon County.”

“We want to help support early literacy in our community by getting books into the hands of children who may not have easy access to them,” said President Natalie Beck of The Community Foundation of Macon County. “Research shows that reading to kids has a huge impact on developing language and vocabulary. By age 5, the children of parents who never read to them have heard only about 4,600 words. In contrast, kids who are read to every day have heard almost 300,000 words by that age. We are excited to partner with United Way of Decatur & Mid-Illinois on this powerful literacy program.”

Register at this link.

Families can stay updated on the Macon County Imagination Library by following the Facebook page:

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 has gifted well over 150 million free books in Australia, Canada, The Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom and the United States. The Imagination Library mails more than 1.8 million high-quality, age-appropriate books each month to registered children from birth to age 5. 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. For more information, please visit