Registration begins this week for local children to receive a free book from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library once a month until they turn 5.

Late last year, the Greencastle-Antrim Education Foundation received a $6,800 grant from the Franklin County Community Foundation, a regional foundation of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, for the startup funds to be a regional affiliate of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. Parton's initiative has put books into the hands of millions of children across the country and around the world.

Children are eligible from birth until age 5. The books, selected by the Dolly Parton organization, begin with "The Little Engine That Could" and conclude with "Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come."

GAEF's mission is to impact the experience of every student and "as an education foundation, we felt we have to start with preschool. It adds to GAEF's impact to enhance the lives of all children, not just school age, so to me this is the perfect fit," according to Executive Director Cheryl Brown.

On the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library website, Parton says:

“Before he passed away, my Daddy told me the Imagination Library was probably the most important thing I had ever done. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me because I created the Imagination Library as a tribute to my Daddy. He was the smartest man I have ever known but I know in my heart his inability to read probably kept him from fulfilling all of his dreams."

The free book program is available to all children who live in Greencastle and Antrim Township. More Franklin County communities will be added to the Imagination Library next year.

Registration will be held at 38 Center Square, Greencastle, where a ribbon-cutting is planned on Friday, March 13, at 9:30 a.m.

Registration is scheduled:

Friday, March 13, 10 a.m. to noon

Sunday, March 15, 2 to 4 p.m.

Thursday, March 19, noon to 2 p.m.

Saturday, March 21, 8 to 10 a.m.

Monday, March 23, 6 to 8 p.m.

Tuesday, March 24, 9 to 11 a.m.

Children will receive their first book when they register and will be mailed a book once a month after that.

Parents will need to provide the child's full name, date of birth and mailing address. Also needed are name, phone number and e-mail address of an authorized adult.

For more information, email:

office@gaefonline.org