CORYDON, IN (WAVE) - A country music superstar's book program is making it possible for children to receive a free book every month in Harrison County regardless of their parent's income.

Abby and Chad Coffman know reading out loud to a child right from the start has a lifelong impact.

"We didn't hesitate to sign up our children. It's a high quality piece of literature and something your family is going to be able to use together," Abby Coffman said.

However, there are more than 700 children under 5 years old whose parents haven't signed them up to receive a free age-appropriate book every month.

"We're trying to get the word out so every child is signed up in Harrison County," Harrison County Community Foundation President Steve Gilliland said.

The free book program is made possible through the foundation's partnership with Imagination Library.

"This was the brainchild of Dolly Parton," Gilliland said.

Country music icon Dolly Parton launched Imagination Library, which mails books monthly to children ages one month to five years, in 1996 to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee.

Parton's vision is to foster a love of reading among preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month.

"She wanted to do this in her home community of Sevier County, Tennessee and it spread like wildfire across the state and it's spreading around the globe. It's a very good program," Gilliland said.

The program is only possible if a non-profit is willing to partner with Imagination Library to support it locally

Each books costs Harrison County Community Foundation $2.10. There are 2,200 children under five years old in Harrison County. That translates into $40,000 to $50,000 a year, according to Gilliland.

"It's an extremely affordable program when you consider what you're getting," Gilliland said.

The program spawned an anticipation and passion for reading in the Coffman family.

"I love they want to run out to the mailbox and see if their has arrived. It's a remarkable program," Coffman said.

There are also Imagination Library programs in Carrollton, Kentucky; Floyd County, Indiana and Scott County, Indiana.

To start an Imagination Library program in your community,
click here.

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