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PRESS RELEASE: Imagination Library of Washington Brings Transformative Literacy Initiative to WA DOC State Prison Visit Rooms

Released: April 8, 2024

Contact Chris Wright Communications Office

TUMWATER – This week is National Library Week. The 2024 theme is “Ready, Set, Library,” and what better time to announce a unique prison partnership between Imagination Library of Washington, the statewide partner for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, and the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) to bring an innovative and exciting early literacy program to prison visit rooms.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails high quality, age-appropriate books each month to children between the ages of birth up to five years old, at no cost to the family.

However, DOC’s partnership looks a little different. This unique partnership began in fall 2023, with the goal of bringing the Imagination Library to the state’s 11 prisons to put books into the hands and hearts of children visiting their incarcerated parent.

“We know that strong bonds between parent and child are crucial for successful reentry,” said DOC Secretary Cheryl Strange. “This partnership allows us to promote healthy relationships and positive memories that will last a lifetime and also promotes literacy at an early age, when it is most important to foster a love for reading.”

The goal of this partnership is to promote enrollment in the Imagination Library, highlight the importance of building early literacy skills at a young age, and offer incarcerated individuals the unique opportunity to build a strong, healthy relationship with their children and families through the magical wonder of books.

“Imagination Library of Washington is thrilled to partner with the Washington State Department of Corrections to creatively enhance literacy opportunities for children as they are visiting incarcerated loved ones. Collaboration is key in creating meaningful engagement and impact, and we believe this partnership will bring families together and inspire a love of reading, bringing light to perhaps a dark time for Washington families,” stated Imagination Library of Washington Executive Director, Brooke Fisher-Clark.