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Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Helping Children Enter School Ready to Read

Reading with a preschool child is the single most important activity to help prepare that child for success in school.

Meaningful learning experiences in the years before kindergarten are key to closing the achievement gap - that is when intervention can have the most positive effect on a child’s learning trajectory. This period is critical and sets the stage for all later learning and adult functioning.

As many as 3,500 preschool children from low-income families in Williamson County do not have access to books because their families simply cannot afford to buy them. National studies have shown that 61% of low-income families do not have age-appropriate books for children in their home. 

To a child, entering school unprepared can have long-term implications for their future success in school and in life. For a community, the financial costs associated with children entering kindergarten unprepared include:

  • Increased need for student aid and remediation
  • Special education and grade repetition
  • Teacher related costs
  • Impact on school safety due to delinquent behavior

Our Strategy

United Way of Williamson County and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library are teaming up to provide books to preschoolers ages 0-5 years old who live in the boundaries of the 10 Williamson County elementary schools with the highest percentage of economically disadvantaged students.  

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library will mail one brand new, age-appropriate book to every child enrolled in the program each month from the time the child is born until his or her 5th birthday. Parent education tips are printed in each book to provide ideas for parent-child reading interactions. This program is free to eligible families and is funded in full by gifts to United Way of Williamson County. 

Preschoolers currently living within the boundaries of the following elementary schools may enroll in the program. Enrollment forms are available at the school office. 

  Launch Date Program Sponsor
Bartlett - Bartlett ISD November 2014                                 United Way Donors
Berkman - RRISD October 2013 Round Rock & Sunrise Rotary Clubs
Bluebonnet - RRISD March 2013 Round Rock & Sunrise Rotary Clubs
Carver - GISD February 2014 St. David's Georgetown Hospital
Forest North - RRISD                                            March 2014 NW Austin Rotary Club & Forest North PTA
Mitchell - GISD October 2015 United Way Donors
Purl - GISD October 2015 United Way Donors
Robertson - RRISD April 2015 Round Rock & Sunrise Rotary Clubs
Success HS - RRISD March 2015 United Way Donors
Johnson/Pasemann - Taylor ISD August 2014 Taylor Rotary Club Members
Voigt - RRISD August 2014 Round Rock & Sunrise Rotary Clubs, Chapparal Women's Club
Williams - GISD December 2015 United Way Donors

Take Action

To reach our goal of helping more children enter school ready to read and ready to learn, we need your help.

A gift of $25 provides 12 books for one economically disadvantaged preschooler in Williamson County.