KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Drivers across Tennessee have helped raise money for children to receive books, reaching a new milestone of over $40,000 for Knox County children since 2018, according to an announcement from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Knox County.
The Imagination Library of Knox County made the announcement on Facebook on Tuesday, thanking those who decided to Drive with Dolly. From the license plate revenue, $15 goes to support the Imagination Library statewide. The Knox County chapter of the organization has received over $40,000 since 2018, according to the announcement.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library mails free, high quality books to children from birth up to age five, regardless of the family’s income. The program has gifted nearly 200 million books worldwide since it began in 1995, according to the website, with nearly 25 million of those books being gifted in 2022.
Worldwide, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library gives free books to children in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and, most recently added, Ireland. As of 2022, they send two million books each moth globally according to the Imagination Library’s website.
One notable the Imagination Library has taken to make reading even more accessible is the addition of audio and braille books, partnering with American Printing House for the Blind (APH), the website shares. APH includes on their website that the books have braille text on clear labels applied directly to the books, allowing a sighted adult or child to read aloud from the print text while the blind child feels the braille. APH also added that the books foster the ability for a parent or grandparent who reads braille to be able to read aloud to a sighted child, who can see the print and the pictures.
To see your area is covered by the imagination library and sign up, click here. The Imagination Library established state-wide coverage in Tennessee in 2004, and statewide coverage has been celebrated in Arkansas, Delaware, North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia. There are also other states were partial coverage is available, including Washington, Oklahoma, Kansas, Kentucky and Colorado, where statewide coverage has been launched, as well as North Dakota, South Carolina, and Mississippi where steps have been taken toward statewide coverage.