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Imagination Library

Celina City Schools

Home of the Bulldogs

Imagination Library

Celina High School
715 E. Wayne Street
Celina, OH 45822
Phone: 419-586-8300 X 1500
Fax: 419-584-0307

Celina City Schools' Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Dolly Parton Imagination Library logo. The Story of Dolly’s Imagination Library

In 1996, Dolly Parton launched an exciting effort to benefit the children of her home county, Sevier County, in eastern Tennessee. Dolly wanted to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families. She wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create.

So she decided to mail a brand new, age appropriate book each month to every child under 5 in Sevier County. With the arrival of every child’s first book, the classic,WattyPiper’s classic The Little Engine That Could (Platt & Munk; 1961), every child could now experience the joy of finding their very own book in their mail box. These moments continue each month until the child turns 5-and in their very last month in the program they receive Nancy Carlson’s Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come (Viking, 1999)

Needless to say the experience has been a smashing success! So much so that many other communities clamored to provide the Imagination Library to their children. Dolly though long and hard about it and decided her Foundation should develop a way for other communities to participate. The Foundation asked a blue ribbon panel of experts to select just the right books and secured Penguin Group USA to be the exclusive publisher for the Imagination Library. Moreover a database was built to keep track of the information.

Consequently, in March of 2000 she stood at the podium of The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. and revealed the plan for other communities to provide the Imagination Library to their children. And as only Dolly can say it, she wanted to “put her money where her mouth is-and with such a big mouth that’s a pretty large sum of money” and provide the books herself to the children of Branson, Missouri and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina-communities where her businesses now operate.

How it Works

A community must make the program accessible to all preschool children in their area. The community volunteers (Renee Kramer, Lore Long, Angie Schwieterman, Michelle Duncan, and Carol Hone) pay for the books and mailing, promote the program, register the children, and enter the information into the database.

From there, The Dollywood Foundation takes over and manages the system to deliver the books to the home, FREE of charge to the preschoolers.

Sign up your Child

Go to the following website to sign up your child aged birth to 5 years old, living within the 45822 zip code:


Contact Renee Kramer at [email protected]


Fill out an Imagination Library registration form located within the office of Celina Primary School.

Contact Information

Any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact Renee Kramer at [email protected]  or at 419-586-8300 ext. 1500.

Contact Information

Any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact Renee Kramer at [email protected]  or at 419-586-8300 ext. 1500.

Why Should We Read to Our Children?

The only behavior measure that correlates significantly with reading scores is the number of books in the home. An analysis of a national data set of nearly 100,000 United States school children found that access to printed materials--and not poverty--is the "critical variable affecting reading acquisition."Jeff McQuillan, The Literacy Crisis: False Claims, Real Solutions, 1998. Children who have not already developed some basic literacy practices when they enter school are three to four times more likely to drop out in later years. National Adult Literacy Survey, 1993

Most of the reading problems faced by today's adolescents and adults are the result of problems that might have been avoided or resolved in their early childhood years. National Research Council, 2000.  "Reading is typically acquired relatively predictably by children who… have had experiences in early childhood that fostered motivation and provided exposure to literacy in use." National Research Council, 2000

60% of the kindergartners in neighborhoods where children did poorly in school did not own a single book.  The Patterns of Book Ownership and Reading, D.Feitelsonand Z. Goldstein, 1986

The most successful way to improve the reading achievement of low-income children is to increase their access to print. Communities ranking high in achievement tests have several factors in common: an abundance of books in public libraries, easy access to books in the community at large and a large number of textbooks per student. Newman, Sanford, et all. "American's Child Care Crisis: A Crime Prevention Tragedy"; Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2000.

U.S. Department of Education states, if you read to your child from infancy until age five for:
   • 30 Minutes Daily=You will have read to your child for 900 hours!
   • 30 Minutes Weekly=You will have read to your child for 130 hours!
   • Less than 30 Minutes Weekly=You will have read your child for 60 hours!

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