Governor Kelly Welcomes Dolly Parton to Kansas for the Imagination Library Statewide Celebration:
Here’s What They’re Saying

– Governor Laura Kelly welcomed iconic singer-songwriter and early childhood literacy advocate Dolly Parton to Kansas this week to celebrate the statewide expansion of her Imagination Library program.

The celebration comes after the announcement last month that every child in Kansas is now eligible to participate in the program to receive one free, high-quality, age-appropriate book per month until their fifth birthday. That’s a total of 60 books from birth to age 5!

Here’s what they’re saying:

“Well Kansas, we did it! I’m so thankful for Governor Kelly, Representative Waymaster and the countless friends and local partners across Kansas who have made this dream come true. Let’s celebrate by registering as many children and families as we can to receive the gift of Imagination Library books right to their home each month. Together, we can inspire children across Kansas to love books and reading, and that’s a gift that will last a lifetime.”
– Dolly Parton

“I’m honored that Dolly has taken the time to help our state celebrate this exciting milestone of being able to provide the gift of reading for children and families in every part of Kansas. I urge all eligible families to take advantage of this program and to sign their children up for the Imagination Library of Kansas.”
– Governor Laura Kelly

“The Children’s Cabinet has been honored to serve as the statewide lead for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. When we took on that role, Kansas had a patchwork of 76 counties with local affiliates, but many of those counties only had partial coverage. Today, we are celebrating the expansion of the program to every zip code in the state. It is a source of joy to be able to give the gift of reading to all Kansas children birth to 5 and help them get the best possible start in life.”
– Melissa Rooker,
Executive Director of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund

“Dolly was funny, witty and most of all inspiring!  She continues to be the example to all of us on how to live a life that makes a difference.”
– Lisa Gleason,
Executive Director, United Way of Reno County

“The Shawnee Mission Education Foundations is thrilled to be the first affiliate of the Imagination Library in Johnson County. In our first 11 months we have served more than 5,500 children in our area and we are thrilled that the children of Kansas are able to receive the precious gift of books.”
– Kimberly Hinkle, 
Executive Director, Shawnee Mission Education Foundation

“I grew up in East Tennessee, where I had a season pass to Dollywood. I know firsthand the positivity that having a little bit of Dolly in your life brings. That’s why I’m thrilled that she came to Kansas this week to celebrate the statewide expansion of her Imagination Library, which will bring Dolly’s magic to the homes of tens of thousands of Kansas kids every month.”
– Kansas Senator Dinah Sykes, 
Senate Minority Leader

“All children in Kansas should be able to have the same opportunity that my sons have. All three of our sons participate in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, thank you, Dolly Parton, for providing the gift of reading for all children ages zero to five in the state of Kansas.”
– Kansas Representative Troy Waymaster

“This was a day I will never forget, as the longest current serving member on the Kansas Children’s Cabinet, this day of celebration upon achieving the dream of making the Dolly Parton Imagination Library available to all Kansas kids, was a dream come true. In true Dolly Parton fashion, Dolly made us feel as if she was welcoming us into her home.”
– LeEtta Felter, 
Member, Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund

“Dolly’s visit was just the perfect way to celebrate the continued success of the Imagination Library across Kansas. Even though we already have nearly 6,000 children actively enrolled in the county, we saw a spike of more than 300 new participants just since Dolly’s visit was announced. We’re excited that so many of the United Ways across the state support this program as one facet of an early education impact strategy.”
– Jessica Lehnherr,
CEO of United Way of Kaw Valley