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The Hearts Beat As One Foundation and Smart Start of Mecklenburg County announced a new partnership to bring the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to the Charlotte community.  Hearts Beat as One Foundation has pledged to raise over $300,000 to launch the program, which will be administered locally by the Smart Start staff. The initial phase of this pledge has secured go-ahead funding to provide enrollment for all 2015 newborns in the 28205 zip code.


The partnership brings together two multi-faceted organizations to implement & expand proven initiatives to support the advancement of child literacy in Charlotte. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library, the first of such initiatives, was created by Dolly Parton as a part of the Dollywood Foundation. The Library mails one book per month to each child enrolled from birth to age five.


The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is currently in over 1,600 communities to almost 700,000 children across the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia, and delivers over 8.3 million free books per year. Following in the foot steps of several successful imagination Library campaigns in North Carolina, The Hearts Beat As One partnership with Smart Start makes the Library's first presence here in Charlotte.


"We are excited to bring wonderful, well-known program to our city", said Christina Stritzinger, Director of Advancement of the Hearts Beat As One Foundation.  "This partnership carries two amazing missions forward.  We are proud to stand with Smart Start to continue their work to improve the critical first 2,000 days of lifew for our local children. As a new Charlotte non-profit, this partnership also allows us to build on our first year accomplishments in 2014 and work to an even brighter 2015".


"This is a wonderful opportunity to forge new partnerships and provide early literacy initiatives and awareness to families with young children who are at risk," said Jane Meyer, executive director of Smart Start of Mecklenburg County. 


‚ÄčLaunching the Dolly Parton Imagination Library with Smart Start is part of a larger mission  for the Hearts Beat As One Foundation.  Incorporating this initiative as a part of its Education & Employment tenet,  the organization takes a step toward establishing a strong presence in each of it's seven core focus areas. 


The Hearts Beat As One Foundation and Smart Start of Mecklenburg County are also joined by key community partners to launch the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Charlotte;  Levine Children's Hospital, Novant Health, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, NoDa Brewing Company, and Truliant Federal Credit Union

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the dolly parton imagination library