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

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 it is investing $2.5 million dollars to expand Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

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

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

Through federal pandemic relief funds, the 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,” said Hofmeister. “These challenges underscore the need for robust early literacy interventions to help our get kids back on track. We are thrilled to partner with Dolly Parton, one of the world’s most noted supporters of early literacy, to help our kids build critical literacy skills before they ever step foot in Pre-K.”

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

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