BEVERLY, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, a program that helps provide books to children, is expanding its operations in the North Shore thanks to a local organization and fundraising.
The program's purpose is to help give young children access to books for free. Parents can sign their children up before they are born, and then after birth, they will receive a free book every month until they're in kindergarten.
It originally ran in a few parts of Cape Ann, but thanks to local donations and fundraising, it is now available in Salem, Beverly, and Peabody.
Eric Mitchell is the CEO and President of Pathways for Children, a human service agency based in Gloucester with centers in Beverly and Salem. They are the main partner for the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library in the North Shore.
Mitchell said they wanted to bring the program to the North Shore because learning to read early on is important for a child's development.
"Early literacy is such a great foundation for any adult," Mitchell said. As we work with children and families we want to make sure that we support early literacy. It's a foundation for everything."
The program aims to help families who may be lower-income and need assistance, but Mitchell said anyone can sign up for it regardless of their financial situation.
"We understand that when children go to their local school, they're all in it together. They will have this common experience having received these books and have built up a library."
WBZ's Carl Stevens (@CarlWBZ) reports.