Your Local Imagination Library

Your local Imagination Library, Rutherford Books from Birth and Cannon Books from Birth, builds a foundation for reading and learning for ALL children from birth to age five in Rutherford and Cannon counties by providing a new, age-appropriate book each month at no cost to the families enrolled. The United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties serves as the local sustaining partner of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, in partnership with the Governor's Early Literacy Foundation.

Your local Imagination Library is powered by supporters like you. You are the driving force behind the 16,000 Imagination Library books that are delivered each month to children ages birth to five in Rutherford and Cannon counties.

Click here to enroll your child in the Imagination Library. 

When you move, your books do not automatically move with you. Books will arrive between 6-8 weeks after your information is submitted. Click here to update your mailing address.

  1. Children who participated in the Imagination Library program are more likely to be performing at grade level and least likely to be performing below grade level than their non-participating peers
  2. Children who participated in the Imagination Library program were more likely to score higher on literacy assessments, even into third grade
  3. Parents of children receiving Imagination Library books say they read together more often and this activity, coupled with close adult-child interaction using Imagination Library activities, improves the child’s speaking skills and vocabulary
  4. Skills such as math scores and cognitive skills are significantly improved with participation in the Imagination Library
  5. Participation in the Imagination Library program does help develop positive social-emotional and behavioral skills
  6. Imagination Library participants are able to acquire a basic understanding of print and book component concepts, including separate words and letters and book-handling skills
  7. Program participation promotes one-on-one time for reading and nurturing between children and adults
  8. Having books in the home has been consistently proven to be a predictor of children’s academic success
  9. Love and understanding of reading is shared among children, families and communities participating in the Imagination Library
  10. Imagination Library participation may affect the overall amount and quality of parent-child interactions and lay the foundation for adults’ consistent involvement in their children’s learning and development.

United Way works to identify and resolve pressing community issues by making measurable results. Only 25% of kindergartners passed their school readiness assessments. The school readiness gap becomes a domino effect that can predict a pattern of setbacks and future achievement gaps. Two-thirds of children who are not ready for school at the entry of kindergarten later fail third grade reading proficiency tests.

Only 42% of Rutherford County’s third graders and 29% of Cannon County's third graders can read at grade level. A national study shows that students who do not read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. The readiness gap begins at birth and is often due to differences in children’s resources such as the lack of books in the child’s home.