As March unfolds its pages, it brings with it the joyful celebration of National Reading Month, a time dedicated to the enchanting world of literature and the profound impact it has on our lives. This month-long observance serves as a reminder to encourage reading every day with your children to unlock their little imaginations and foster a love of reading and learning at an early age. Reading is a fantastic habit to develop and the benefits extend far beyond mere entertainment. Research has shown that regular reading stimulates brain function, enhances vocabulary, and improves comprehension skills.

The nation's number one early literacy program, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, is igniting a deep love for books all across the world, serving more than 2.8 million children with a free monthly book, delivered right to their door each month until their fifth birthday, at no cost to a family. Dolly was inspired to help young children build up their own home library by her father's inability to read and write. Dolly says her father was the smartest man she has ever known, but she knew in her heart his inability to read probably kept him from fulfilling all of his dreams. Since the program began in 1995, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library now spans five countries and has gifted more than 230 million books to children across the globe. 

From the moment they are born, infants are sponges for language, absorbing the sounds, rhythms, and patterns of speech that surround them. By exposing children to a rich variety of words and phrases through books, parents help to build their child's vocabulary and strengthen their language skills from an early age. Reading to young children also plays a crucial role in fostering emotional development.  Through the characters they encounter and the situations they navigate, children learn to empathize, express emotions, and develop a sense of empathy and compassion. 

Here are some great tips for reading with children who are birth to age five, helping to develop their abilities for lifelong learning. (provided by Dolly Parton's Imagination Library)

So, as we tuck our little ones into bed tonight, let us remember the magic that awaits within the pages of a book and the profound impact it has on shaping young minds and hearts. Happy National Reading Month to bookworms everywhere – may your shelves be stocked, your minds enriched, and your hearts forever captivated by the wonder of words.

For more information on enrolling your child, or how you can support getting more books to young children in Washington through Imagination Library of Washington, visit