Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) Program
The Picard Center evaluates the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) program for the Louisiana Association of United Ways, as well as for United Way of Acadiana. The Imagination Library Program is an early literacy program designed to bring children’s books into the homes of families with children birth through five years of age. Each month, the child receives a brand-new, age-appropriate book through the mail.
United Way of Acadiana
Researchers evaluate the performance outcomes of the United Way of Acadiana DPIL program through surveys of parents whose children participated in the Imagination Library program. United Way of Acadiana began the DPIL program in June 2009 and has enrolled more than 7,000 families within its four-parish service area of Acadia, Lafayette, St. Martin, and Vermilion parishes.
The most significant finding from the United Way of Acadiana survey indicated that parents increased daily reading to their child due to participation in the DPIL program. In fact, approximately 45% of parents read to their child every day before participating in the program; that percentage increased to 71% since the families’ participation in the program.
Future evaluations of the program will include assessing children before and after the program and developing a longitudinal study of all students who have participated in the program. The longitudinal evaluation will follow the children throughout their school years and track their academic outcomes. The research study for United Way of Acadiana will continue through 2013.
Louisiana Association of United Ways
In 2010, the Louisiana Association of United Ways provided an opportunity for regional United Ways to participate in the DPIL program. Surveys were conducted of parents whose children were newly enrolled in the program, as well as parents whose children participated in the program for one year. Parishes who participated in the state evaluation included: Acadia, Calcasieu, Iberia, Lafayette, Orleans, Rapides, St. Charles, St. Landry/Evangeline, St. Martin, and Vermilion.
Researchers found the frequency of reading time increased for parents who participated in the project for one year by 19%, as compared to the frequency of reading time for those families who were newly entered into the program. Children looked forward to receiving age-appropriate books each month, and enthusiasm for literature increased by 21%. In addition, parents felt that the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program will help in preparing their children for kindergarten.
Download the latest report and national conference presentation of the Imagination Library Program for United Way of Acadiana.
View the official Dolly Parton Imagination Library website.
Coming soon – results on the statewide program.