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Student Leadership 2016-2017 Service Project: Imagination Library

Dolly Parton Imagination Library logoVictor Hugo once wrote: “To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.” As members of Sigma Tau Delta, you don’t need to be reminded of how literacy can open doors, create opportunities, and inspire communities to be great. That is why Student Leadership was thrilled to invite you to participate in this year’s philanthropy project with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

What is the Imagination Library’s Impact on Childhood Literacy?

Dolly Parton began the Imagination Library in 1995 to encourage early childhood literacy in her home county in East Tennessee. The goal was to provide high-quality, age-appropriate books to all children, regardless of their family’s financial situation, from infancy to kindergarten. Since then, the Imagination Library has mailed over 73.9 million books to children in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia!

Other important statistics you should know about the Imagination Library:

  • It costs $25 to sponsor a child and provide them with twelve books over the course of the year. This covers the cost of the books and the shipping. No administrative costs are taken from this program!
  • Over a million children currently are being served by the Imagination Library.
  • Books are available in English, Spanish, Burmese, and Braille. Audio books also are available.
  • There are statistics and studies showing that enrollment in the program drastically improves early childhood literacy, a skill that will benefit these children for the rest of their lives!

Dolly Parton Reading with Children

During the 2016-2017 academic year Student Leadership challenged all chapters to sponsor ten children. Proceeds have been split among South Carolina, Arkansas, and Kentucky, three states greatly in need of our help.


Donations were collected for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library from the following Sigma Tau Delta Chapters:

  • Kansas State University, Alpha Theta Eta Chapter, Manhattan, KS
  • Mansfield University, Mu Xi Chapter, Mansfield, PA
  • Morningside College, Gamma Beta Chapter, Sioux City, IA
  • Shepherd University, Alpha Gamma Kappa Chapter, Shepherdstown, WV
  • Stephens College, Alpha Epsilon Eta Chapter, Columbia, MO
  • University of Southern California, Eta Omega Chapter, Los Angeles, CA
  • Wichita State University, Alpha Theta Omicron Chapter, Wichita, KS

Additional contributions were received from NEHS, and Sigma Kappa Delta chapters; Better World Books textbook drive literacy fund proceeds; and Student Leadership's convention cash collection. Cumulative donations totaled $6,900.

Watch for details regarding the 2017-2018 Student Leadership Service Project this fall.


Begin Today!

The Imagination Library's motto is "Dream More, Learn More, Care More, Be More." As members of Sigma Tau Delta, we always are striving to expand our creativity and our knowledge. It is now time to give back and spark imagination in the next generation of readers, writers, and dreamers by providing them with the tools necessary to aid literacy.

Imagination Library Resources

Fostering Literacy: Dolly Parton's Imagination Library