DENVER (CBS4) – Every child under the age of 5 in Colorado can now receive a free book in the mail every month. The program is possible through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. It will mail parents of the children one book every month from the time they are born until they’re 5, if they sign up.
A limited run of the program started in Denver a few years ago. It’s now available in every zip code in the state thanks to a bill that passed in 2020.
Wakely and Warren Ripley, of Denver, are members of the Imagination Library.
“We call it new book day, so we pull the book out of the mail ‘New book day! New book day!’ and dance and sing and unwrap it,” their mom Durban told CBS4 last year.
Under the law, if a local community raises half the cost for the program, the state will pay the other half, gifting Colorado kids a love of reading to last a lifetime. The program is available to every kid — regardless of income — so it’s not stigmatized as only for low-income kids.
“We know from all sorts of research that when kids are read to, their brains develop, they grow and think, and reading scores increase dramatically,” said state Sen. Jeff Bridges, who helped pass the legislation.