United Way of Southeast Mississippi is now accepting applications to register children in Forrest, Lamar, Perry and Marion counties for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library! The Imagination Library mails one age-appropriate book each month to enrolled children until they turn five (5) years old. Ensuring that children have access to books from the time they are born helps reach the goal of improving early childhood education and kindergarten readiness in our community.
About Imagination Library
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a national program hosted throughout the country by local organizations. Dolly Parton started this book gifting program in 1995, originally in her home county in East Tennessee after being inspired by her own father’s inability to read and write. Today, more than 1.3 million children have been registered worldwide and over 112 million books have been mailed.
How It Works
The cost for a year's worth of books is an estimated $30 per child. Thanks to donors and sponsorships, funding has been secured to allow children living in the Hattiesburg Public School District, Forrest County, and Lamar County to waive this fee. If your child meets these requirements, complete the form below and your child will receive their first book in the next two months. We are constantly working to secure funding in order to waive this fee for children in all four counties.
If your child is ineligible to have the fee waived, you can still enroll them in the program at a cost of $30 per child, per year, or place them on a waiting list. Just submit the completed form and you will be contacted by United Way staff with additional information.
After your child is registered, his or her book will be mailed directly to them each month!
To submit an application for registration, please fill out the form below.
Thank You to Our Sponsors!
Hattiesburg Public School Foundation
The Phil Hardin Foundation
The First, A National Banking Association
Junior Auxiliary Hattiesburg
Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, Alpha Gamma Chapter
Lamar County School District
Making sure every child is ready to learn by the time they enter kindergarten is one of United Way SEMS's goals in improving quality education. Ensuring children have access to books is a step toward reaching that goal. If you, your business, club or organization would like to sponsor Imagination Library, please contact United Way SEMS at 601-545-7141, ext. 2.