Amid the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Mecklenburg County has continued to mail children enrolled in the Charlotte area a free, high-quality, age-appropriate book to their house each and every month. The organization currently delivers free, age-appropriate books to over 27,000 Mecklenburg County children each month, an 864% increase since Smart Start of Mecklenburg County began facilitating the program in 2017.

The Imagination Library recently announced a new way to spread the word about the book-giving program and get books into the hands of families in the community by partnering with various MECK Pre-K classroom locations. The program has purchased recycled newspaper bins to be used as Little Free Libraries. “These libraries will allow us to distribute new books directly to children, and help us educate parents about this opportunity for their family,” said Champagne Selman, Literacy Coordinator.

Any family with children ages 0 – 5 is eligible to sign up at no cost to them.

Reading initiatives like this partnership are imperative, especially in times such as these, to encourage early literacy within the community, according to The Imagination Library. The parents enrolled in DPIL reported an increase in children reading daily from 50% to 72%. Daily shared reading is a strong indicator of early literacy, which is foundational for school success.

Free Little Libraries can be found here:

Smart Kids CDC #8
7008-7 E. W.T. Harris Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28215

Smart Kids 9
13210 South Point Blvd
Charlotte NC 28273

Pee Wee’s Little People
5747 Joyce Drive
Charlotte, NC 28215

Dixon Academy
2608 West Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28208

Cadence Academy Ballantyne
14325 Ballantyne Meadows Drive
Charlotte, NC 28277

University CDC at Highland Creek
6025 Clarke Creek Parkway
Charlotte, NC 28269

Early Foundations Academy
7727 Sharon Road
Charlotte, NC 28210

Absolute Child Care
4111 Freedom Drive
Charlotte, NC 28208

Cadence Academy Kenton
16420 Sedgebrook Lane
Huntersville NC 28078

Smart Kids CDC 7
1208 Sam Newell Rd
Matthews NC 28105

CFSC Building
601 E 5th St
Charlotte, NC 28202