Enrollment is now open for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library (DPIL) to any Keys baby or toddler! Thanks to generous grants and donations, any child aged 4 ½ or younger is eligible to enroll and will receive a free book monthly until their 5th birthday. Parents can visit the Imagination Library website to enroll their child(ren).
This program helps improve early childhood literacy, especially in our most vulnerable populations. While any Monroe County child is eligible to enroll, we target our enrollment efforts at families who are likely to have the fewest books and reap the most benefits.
According to our pre‐enrollment survey, 21% of families had NO children’s books in their home and an additional 48% had 5 or fewer books. This is staggering, compared to the average, middle‐ or upper‐income family. Beginning to Read, written by Marilyn Adams, a researcher working in the field of cognition and education, says that, “A child from a low‐income family enters first grade with an average of only 25 hours of one‐to‐one picture book reading, compared with 1,000 to 1,700 hours for a child from a typical middle‐class home.” To learn more about DPIL or enroll using a paper form, go to our website.
One parent of children enrolled in our Dolly Parton's Imagination Library affiliate emailed us to tell her how much her children enjoy the program. She said, “Both my daughter and son receive books in the mail. They both love when they get the books. It’s a great surprise. Bailey always says, ‘Thank you, Dolly!’”
We want to give a big shout out to The Key Largo Rotary for a $2,000 grant to expand Dolly Parton's Imagination Library enrollment in Monroe County, along with a $2,000 matching grant from their District’s Grant Committee. Thank you for this generous support!
Also, thank you to Ocean Reef Community Foundation, who recently awarded UWCK $4,500 to expand DPIL enrollment in the Upper Keys, as well as $10,600 for our Success by Six program. This program will provide child care scholarships to families earning 150% - 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, who are not eligible for state programs providing assistance. The scholarships will be matched by the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe and will reduce childcare costs from approximately $60/day to no more than $14/day. We appreciate this ORCF grant which is critical to the success of families with young children in our community!