Educational books

Oklahoma invests $2.5 million in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Matt Sayles

Dolly Parton, left, and Katy Perry perform ‘Coat Of Many Colors’ at the 51st Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 3, 2016 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma State Department of Education today announced that it is investing $2.5 million to expand Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said the expansion will benefit all 77 counties in Oklahoma.

OSDE says they will provide a 1:1 match of all funds raised by local community partners.

Using federal pandemic relief funds, OSDE will mail educational books to members of the Imagination Library on a monthly basis.

“The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in well-documented learning disruptions. The impacts on our youngest learners are particularly troubling and appear to be most severe among our most vulnerable student populations,” Hofmeister said. “These challenges underscore the need for strong early literacy interventions to help get our children back on track. We are thrilled to partner with Dolly Parton, one of the world’s most famous proponents of early literacy, to help our children learn essential literacy skills before they even set foot in kindergarten.

Dolly Parton started the Imagination Library program in 1995 to distribute books in the impoverished Tennessee county where she grew up, according to the ODSE.

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