Fredericksburg, VA, (June 18, 2024) – The Tabernacle United Methodist Church has received a $2,500 grant from Mary Washington Hospital Foundation’s Joe and Mary Wilson Community Benefit Fund to support Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Spotsylvania County. This grant, along with other funding sources, enables the Imagination Library at Tabernacle United Methodist Church to continue its mission of promoting a love for reading by providing free books to children from birth to five years old.


Since its launch in March 2020, the Spotsylvania Imagination Library has mailed 50,149 books to children in the community. The program ensures that every enrolled child receives one free book per month until the age of five. With each book costing approximately $30 per child per year, the church currently has 907 children on the waiting list and 2,900 children enrolled. In Spotsylvania County alone, there are 8,363 eligible children under the age of five.


Elizabeth DiDonato, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library-Spotsylvania County Affiliate Coordinator, expressed her gratitude stating, “Our mission is to foster a love of reading in children, raise kindergarten readiness, and ensure that every child, regardless of their family’s income, has access to books.” She continues to say, “The Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program helps develop an early home learning environment and has a positive impact on literacy rates, school readiness, and parental bonding.”


“We are honored to support the Spotsylvania branch of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in making sure as many children as possible have access to books,” says Xavier Richardson, MWHC Chief Development Officer and President of Mary Washington and Stafford Hospital Foundations. “Research has shown that enhanced literacy skills are associated with better health outcomes in the long term.”


Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library was inspired by her father’s inability to read and write. Established in 1995, the program has expanded to five countries and now gifts over one million free books each month to children worldwide.


To learn more about the Imagination Library at Tabernacle United Methodist Church, click here. For more information about Mary Washington and Stafford Hospital Foundations, events, methods of giving, and how you can make a difference, click here.