Social Work Faculty Publications


The Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) program encourages reading among families of preschool children by mailing age-appropriate books, once per month, until the age of five. An evaluation of a DPIL program in a southern state in the U.S. was conducted to assess the impact on enrolled children. Focus groups were conducted and a survey was administered to over 100 parents of children in the program to determine parents’ satisfaction with – and assessment of – the program relative to its activities and stated outcomes. To what extent the program promoted reading in the family, and children’s enjoyment of reading and school readiness was explored. In addition, family communication styles and relationships were assessed relative to these outcomes. The parents reported that the program introduced more diverse reading choices, fostered their children’s love of reading, promoted cognitive development and readiness for school, increased use of public libraries, and encouraged family interaction although some differences in reading activities based on family communication styles were found. As well, parents provided recommendations for outreaching to underserved children. Implications of these findings for groups that sponsor this program and for further research are presented.


Other Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work