Batesville Manufacturing, United Way Bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to Warren County

Published 1:47 pm Monday, October 31, 2022

Batesville Manufacturing and United Way of West Central Mississippi have partnered to bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, an innovative children’s book gifting program, to Warren County.

The Imagination Library mails free, high-quality, age-appropriate books to enrolled children from birth to age 5. Founded in 1995 by country music icon Dolly Parton, the program reaches more children than any other early childhood book gifting program, with more than 2 million children enrolled worldwide.

Batesville Manufacturing, a longtime Vicksburg business, approached United Way about bringing the Imagination Library to Warren County, citing their commitment to bettering our community. 

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“When our plant manager Jason Collins started, he wanted to have a positive impact on our community,” said Paige Payne, Human Resource Manager at Batesville Manufacturing. “I was familiar with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library through my work as a foster parent and was aware that Warren County did not yet participate. I brought the idea to Jason, and he was immediately on board.”

According to Payne, the Imagination Library perfectly exemplifies Batesville’s commitment to the community.

“We want to ensure our community is empowering children and giving them everything they need to succeed,” said Payne. “Not only does investing in education benefit the children, but we also hope that other businesses will see our commitment to children and decide to build and grow their businesses here.”

To kick off Warren County’s participation in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, United Way of West Central Mississippi and Batesville Manufacturing visited Cedars Head Start and Kings Head Start to spread the word and enroll children. Between the two Head Start sites, more than 125 children were enrolled in the first week. 

“We are so excited to bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to Warren County through our partnership with Batesville Manufacturing,” said United Way of West Central Mississippi Executive Director Michele Connelly. “United Way is dedicated to strengthening our community through education, and the Imagination Library will be a great asset. Batesville Manufacturing has been an amazing partner to us throughout the years, and their passion for this program shows how committed they are to our community.”

United Way is also providing information about the Imagination Library to all first-time parents delivering children at Merit Health River Region, as well as to 26 early education centers across Warren County.

“This is an incredible opportunity for parents of young children, so we want to make sure the information is readily available,” Connelly said. “The program is amazing, and it is so easy to register. We hope all parents of eligible children will enroll.”

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is open to children from birth to age 5. To enroll your child, visit imaginationlibrary.com/check-availability.