Read to Succeed Buffalo is Expanding
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library in Buffalo!


Read to Succeed, with the support of the Rotary Foundation of Buffalo, brought Dolly Parton's Imagination Library to children under age five living in ZIP code 14215!  Now, with the support of The Davis Family Foundation and Gallogly Family Foundation Dolly Parton's Imagination Library has expanded to 14207, 14210, 14213, and 14214.


Country music star and literacy advocate Dolly Parton created the Imagination Library to provide free books to disadvantaged children to foster a love of reading and to improve literacy skills among young children!

Each month all registered children from birth to age five will receive a new, age-appropriate book through the mail that will be theirs to keep! The child will continue to receive a free book every month until their fifth birthday - that's 60 books if a child is registered in the program from birth! This is a great way for children to start creating their own library at home.

How To Register

Your child is eligible:

  • From birth until he or she is 60 months (five years) old
  • If he or she resides in the 14207, 14210, 14213, 14214, or 14215 ZIP code.

For more information or to register a child, scroll down and fill out the Imagination Library Enrollment Form or contact Lisa McCue at 843-8895 or [email protected]

If you are an organization with access to families living in the 14207, 14210, 14213, 14214, or 14215 ZIP code, we would like to partner with you to help us enroll families into the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program.

Please contact Lisa McCue at 843-8895 or [email protected].

Books in the Home Make A Difference!

While many communities have noted positive outcomes associated with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, recent efforts have used a more rigorous scientific approach to examining program impact on literacy development.  Locally, Le Moyne College professors, volunteer members of the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County's Measurement Action Team, are directly involved in evaluating the impact Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is having in Syracuse and Buffalo.  The evaluation of these programs is ongoing but preliminary survey responses indicate that greater access to books through the program is associated with more frequent child-directed reading and discussion of the story. These results persisted when controlling for the effects of child age, gender, family income, parental education, race, parental nation of birth, and primary language.  These preliminary findings are exciting in that they demonstrate that when families have access to high quality books for their children, they take advantage of that resource and are reporting increased engagement with their children.  Literacy development research is clear that when parents and caregivers engage in rich conversation with their infants, toddlers and preschoolers, these children have much greater oral language and vocabulary awareness in kindergarten (Hart & Risley, 30 Million Word Gap2005)- a leading predictor of later school success.

Recent research released by the Urban Child Institute (University of Memphis) used similar statistically rigorous data from Shelby County, Tennessee's Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program.  This research supports Le Moyne's findings and demonstrate that the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program has positive impact on participants' kindergarten readiness scores, regardless of income.  In fact, participating in the program statistically predicted better school readiness language scores, even after accounting for other factors, including families' reading habits, child's age at kindergarten entry, preschool experience, and family income. 

Beyond the statistics one only has to think back to when their infant or toddler was cuddled up next to them begging to be read their favorite story - probably for the 100th time!  Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is a vehicle for local affiliates like Read to Succeed Buffalo and the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga, to spread this feeling to parents who may not otherwise have the resources or know how to create it on their own.  Best of all - we know that something as simple as high quality, age-appropriate books in the home fosters the early literacy skills and exposure to vocabulary children need to be ready for kindergarten, college, career and life.



Dolly Parton's Imagination Library was made possible through an initial generous donation from the Buffalo Rotary Foundation, and now continues through donations from The Davis Family Foundation and the Gallogly Family Foundation. 




Read to Succeed Buffalo is looking for volunteers aged 50+ to help tutor small groups in Buffalo Public Schools. Click here to learn more.


Parents have the power to give children a strong start in school. Click here for tips to help your child love reading!  Read more.

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