Help inspire young children to read

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Reading proficiency by the end of third grade has been found to be the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success. Ensuring that children enter kindergarten with pre-literacy skills needed for reading achievement is a critical strategy for impacting a child's educational outcome.

A child's vocabulary as early as age 3 can predict third grade reading achievement, and low-income children with minimal exposure to books and reading are especially vulnerable to entering school lagging in pre-literacy skills needed to learn to read.

My First Books SC is a statewide partnership led by the Palmetto Project and Dolly Parton's Imagination Library providing a brand new, age-appropriate book each month to all South Carolina children under age five... at no cost to the child's family.

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library (DPIL) stands apart from other book programs because it mails one age-appropriate book every month directly to a child's home until their fifth birthday. This enables the child to build a home library of up to 60 books before entering kindergarten. In 2014, DPIL was awarded a Library of Congress Literary Award for Best Practices in Addressing Social Barriers to Literacy. A recent 10-year impact analysis of the Imagination Library in Tennessee showed four significant program outcomes: improved school readiness, children excited about books and reading, more parental engagement, and increased family literacy, all factors that lead to greater educational attainment and ultimately improved financial stability for children and families.

To date, we have provided more than 60,000 books to children across South Carolina. Help us deliver more books to more children, donate at

  • $33 helps us reach one more child
  • $66 helps us reach one more family
  • $165 helps one child graduate
  • $660 helps us fund one more pre-school class
  • $1,650 helps us fund a new site
  • $6,600 helps us start a program in a new community

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