Begin With Books


Dolly Parton Partners with South Carolina to Improve Literacy among our Youngest Children

National studies show that just having a book in a child’s home significantly improves his or her chances for academic success. Lowcountry residents Patty Bennett and Janet Segal have found a way to do just that through a partnership with Country Music Megastar Dolly Parton.

BEGIN WITH BOOKS is a pre-school literacy program that improves the reading readiness of children by encouraging parents and grandparents to read to their babies and toddlers… and by providing each participating child a free book every month from Dolly’s Imagination Library.

The program got its start in Hollywood, Meggett, Ravenel, and Adams Run, and has spread rapidly. “Our intention was to create a model program that eventually could be replicated anywhere in South Carolina.,” said Patty. She believes the program has been particularly successful because it’s affordable for donors at $33 per child per year. Because it is run by volunteers, nearly every dollar contributed goes to buying books.

The books provided by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library are age appropriate and culturally diverse. They are mailed directly to children’s homes.

A $33 gift will buy a year’s worth of books (one per month) for a child. A gift of $165 will buy a complete library (60 books over 5 years) for a child.

Find out more information on how you can register your child with a visit to

Children must be under 5 years old and live in these zip codes:

29403 (Charleston-Upper Peninsula)
29407 (Charleston-West Ashley)
29409 (Charleston-Citadel)
29426 (Adams Run)
29429 (Awendaw)
29438 (Edisto Island)
29449 (Hollywood/Meggett)
29455 (Johns Island)
29458 (McClellanville)
29470 (Ravenel)
29487 (Wadmalaw Island)

A campaign to make the program available to the children of North Charleston is under way.

Follow BEGIN WITH BOOKS program on Facebook.

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