CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Kids in low-income neighborhoods will soon have more books to read. That's thanks to Dolly Parton-- yes, that Dolly Parton-- and the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation.
The library foundation announced Wednesday the Dolly Parton Imagination Library is has arrived in the community. The free program provides one book each month, mailed directly to a child's home from birth until they turn five years old.
Officials said the effort aims to help book-deprived youth, especially in low-income households.
In Cedar Rapids, one in four students does not read proficiently by third grade. At low-income homes, it jumps to one in three.
"Dolly Parton's Imagination Library helps even that playing field," said Charity Tyler, with the foundation. "We're mailing to kids regardless of income so that when kids get to kindergarten they have a shared reading experience."
The library foundation, along with some nonprofit partners, quietly launched the program back in January.
More than 1,500 children have already enrolled.
For more information about the program or how to sign up, click here.