The Dollywood Foundation UK was established by Dolly Parton in 2007 to deliver Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to children in the UK.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting programme that aims to inspire a lifelong love of reading by giving free books to children aged from birth to five. All children enrolled in the Imagination Library receive a high quality, age appropriate book in the post every month, and receive their final, ‘graduation’ book the month they turn five. The programme is delivered through a range of partnerships, with financial contributions from the Foundation and local community partners in the UK.
The Imagination Library currently sends free books to around 11,000 children in London every month. They have Imagination Library programmes in Barnet, Brent, Camden, Greenwich, Hackney, Lambeth, Southwark and the City of London. They also work with other charities and housing associations, such as Peabody Housing Association and Richmond Housing Partnership. Several businesses, like DialAFlight, sponsor local programmes, and they also offer the Imagination Library to their employees’ children. In addition, their partnership with the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education has brought the Imagination Library to children in Reception Class at 30 schools across the boroughs of Camden, Tower Hamlets and Hackney.
Marion Gillooly, Executive Director: “We have a particular interest in London in terms of sustaining our existing Imagination Library programmes, and extending our reach across the city. We are excited by the Empower London Foundation concept of putting a series of celebration events at the heart of a fundraising initiative in a sustainable way. It really is an innovative and inspirational approach that will create experiences and opportunities that are needed now more than ever. This partnership will help us get books into the homes, hands and hearts of many more children across London.”