Imagination Library of Washington, along with our state champions, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Washington State Dept. of Children, Youth, & Families (DCYF), welcomed legendary American icon Dolly Parton to the state of Washington on Tuesday, August 15, 2023 in celebration of achieving statewide coverage of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. The celebratory event was held at the Pantages Theater in Tacoma, with over 800 supporters and local program partners in attendance.

Dolly Parton and State Superintendent Chris Reykdal having an on-stage chat about the Imagination Library program.

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library began in 1995 in Dolly's home county of Sevier, Tennessee. The inspiration behind creating the Imagination Library was her father and his inability to read or write. Before he passed away, her father told her the Imagination Library was probably the most important thing she'd ever done. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading, inspiring children to dream more, learn more, care more and be more. The Imagination Library mails one free, age-appropriate book to registered children from birth until their fifth birthday. The impact of the program has been widely researched and results suggest positive increases in key early childhood literacy metrics. 

Imagination Library of Washington Executive Director, Brooke Fisher-Clark and her son Baron, age six and also an Imagination Library graduate, welcomed guests at the August 15 statewide celebration event.

In 2022, Washington was the 11th state to become a statewide program in partnership with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, and the first of its kind on the West Coast. Since the first local program was established in Washington in 2005, more than 1.6 million books have been mailed to enrolled children across the state. As of September 2023, more than 96,000 children in Washington are receiving free books from the Imagination Library.

Dolly Parton performed two songs during her visit, "The Coat of Many Colors", a story about love and acceptance, and the theme song she wrote for the Imagination Library, "Try". 

Thank You to our State Partners and Event Sponsors!
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