© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library helps ready children for Kindergarten, according to new study

On the "Sound of Ideas," we dig into a report that measures the impact the Imagination Library has on child literacy. [urbanbuzz/shutterstock]
On the "Sound of Ideas," we dig into a report that measures the impact the Imagination Library has on child literacy. [urbanbuzz/shutterstock]

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library has far-reaching implications for children nationwide. It's a book gifting program that mails free, high quality books to children, from birth to age five, no matter their family's income. 

It began in Tennesse in 1995, but over the years has grown to include different states and different countries. 

The Literacy Cooperative of Greater Cleveland became a local affiliate of the imagination library in 2017, and in 2019, First Lady Fran DeWine started the Ohio Governor Imagination Library program, which became fully statewide by November 2020. 

The Literacy Cooperative wanted to study the impact of the library on children in the region, so it commissioned Case Western Reserve University and the Center for Community Solutions to analyze new data and how the program affects things like Kindergarten readiness, a measurement that has dropped for many kids in the state during the pandemic. On the "Sound of Ideas," we talk to experts about the library's impact, and learn about a parent's personal experience with their child enrolled in the program.

Then, we'll talk to Case Western Reserve University's Jared Bendis, who recently attended the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to check out all the most interesting tech.  

Note: See herefor a statement from Case Western Reserve University about the study's findings that came after the airing of this conversation.


Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Imagination Library Impact Report

The Literacy Cooperative

-Bob Paponetti, President & CEO, The Literacy Cooperative
-Alex Dorman, Research Associate, The Center for Community Solutions 
-Tiara Young, Imagination Library Parent 
-Jared Bendis, Creative New Media Officer, Case Western Reserve University

Rachel is the supervising producer for Ideastream Public Media’s morning public affairs show, the “Sound of Ideas.”