PFCJC Reaches 10,000 Children With Free Books In Johnston County

The Partnership for Children of Johnston County (PFCJC) has reached a milestone in its effort to increase literacy in the community and provide books to children.

Through the agency’s partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) more than 10,000 children have received free books delivered directly to their home since the program began in Johnston County.

In 2017, PFCJC became part of the expansion of DPIL when North Carolina’s state lawmakers included $3.5 million in the first year and $7 million in the second year of the state budget for Smart Start to administer DPIL across the state. The program provides free, age-appropriate books each month to children under the age of 5.

The Smart Start network, made up of local partnerships across the state, began registering families across North Carolina for DPIL as part of the work to ensure children develop a love of reading early in life.

DPIL began in 1995 in Dolly Parton’s home county in East Tennessee. Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with a gift of a specially selected book each month mailed directly to their homes. She wanted children to be excited about books and experience the magic that books can create. Dolly also wanted to ensure that every child would have access to books, regardless of their family’s income.

Today, DPIL spans five countries and mails more than 1 million free books each month to children around the world. All children in Johnston County under the age of 5 are eligible to participate. Visit to register a child.

The Partnership for Children of Johnston County is a non-profit organization that has worked for over 20 years to improve the safety, health and emotional well-being of young children by enhancing the quality of childcare and supporting strong families.

Together we will improve the economic sustainability of Johnston County, ensuring that its future workforce is prepared for success in school and life.