A program spearheaded by country music icon Dolly Parton has crossed a milestone by putting books in the hands of 400,611 children in Ohio.

According to a media release from Governor Mike DeWine’s office, 60% of Ohio’s eligible children, from birth to 5 years old, have received books from Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio since the program was launched in 2019. More than 15 million Imagination Library books have been mailed to Ohio children since then.

Ohio continues to have the most children enrolled in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program among U.S. states. In total, 770,294 children in Ohio either are currently participating in or have participated in the program during the past five years.

The Imagination Library is the flagship program of the non-profit Dollywood Foundation and now reaches five countries.

Inspired by her father’s inability to read or write, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is dedicated to inspiring a love of reading and learning by gifting books, free of charge to families.

The Imagination Library of Ohio has 70 local program partner organizations that administer the program at the county level, covering half of the book cost. Funding from the other half of the book cost comes from the Ohio General Assembly, ensuring that the program remains free for all families.

Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine celebrated the 60% statewide enrollment milestone by thanking local program partners with gifts of the First Lady’s Buckeye Brownies, as well as Dolly Parton’s Hello Dolly Bars. 

Caregivers can enroll children under the age of 5 by visiting OhioImaginationLibrary.org.