My First Books SC is a statewide partnership led by the Palmetto Project and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Its’ goal is to provide a brand new age-appropriate book each month to all South Carolina children under age five…at no cost to the child’s family.
More than 34,000 children across South Carolina are enrolled in this remarkable initiative created by Miss Parton. Unfortunately, that is only 12% of eligible children under five.
In Tennessee, where the program started twenty years ago, children enrolled in Dolly Parton’s books-by-mail program are 30% more likely to be kindergarten-ready than others. Long-term studies show that enrolled children are significantly more likely to do better in school, graduate from high school on time, go to college, and stay out of trouble with the law than others.
Our model is a simple, cost-effective strategy to prepare children for school and life. It costs us just $33 a year to provide a child with monthly books for an entire year. If we sign up a newborn, the total cost of his or her participation is just $165 over five years.
Each month the books are selected by a team of educators for each age group and are mailed directly to the children at their homes. The program includes popular titles such as The Little Engine That Could, Madeline, Corduroy, and many, many more.