Imagination Library

Since establishing the Imagination Library in SLO County, United Way has given out more than 9,100 books to local children. Each child enrolled in the program receives a new, age appropriate book every month from enrollment through five years of age. From their first book, “The Little Engine That Could”, through the last book of the series, “Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come,” all books are reviewed and selected by a panel of experts.

Imagination Library is especially valuable for children from low income families, who may find books to be an unaffordable luxury. There is no cost of enrollment to a child's family, so the amount of children we can enroll depends on the amount of generous donations received. Children who are not currently sponsored are placed on a waiting list.

As little as $50 will enroll a child for one year, and as much as $250 will keep them enrolled for the full five years!  Will you help sponsor a child for the Imagination Library program?

One year enrollment = $50
Two year enrollment = $100
Three year enrollment = $150
Four year enrollment = $200
Five year enrollment = $250

Additionally, you may sponsor a specific child for the program, and they will immediately be moved off of the waiting list.

Studies show that if a child can read at grade level by the time she or he is in fourth grade, they increase their chances of succeeding in middle school and graduating on time from high school. This program gets children excited about reading and before they even enter kindergarten, they can have their own personal library. It also helps strengthen families by encouraging positive interaction between adults and children through shared reading.

Developed in 1996 by writer and singer Dolly Parton, the Imagination Library is intended to encourage a love of reading and learning. Her impoverished childhood and father’s illiteracy inspired the country legend to create the program in her native Sevier County, Tennessee. Since then, the Imagination Library has delivered over 25 million books around the world. The community is invited to support this effort by contributing to the fund for the Imagination Library and giving the gift of literacy to local children. United Way is the official affiliate for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in San Luis Obispo County and in 2009, Dolly Parton announced anchor partnerships for the program with United Way Worldwide and Rotary International.

If you are interested in sponsoring a specific child for Imagination Library, call United Way at (805) 541-1234. To make a general donation toward the program, please visit our donation page. To sign a child up on the waitlist, click here

Imagination Library is generously sponsored by:
Friends of the late Larry Baur, C.P.A.