While many personalized license plates can be chalked up to simple shows of vanity, one that’s offered to Tennessee drivers is a notch above the others.
The proceeds generated by Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library specialty license plates benefit affiliates to that beloved program across the entertainment icon’s home state — and they have her portrait on them!
The license plates cost $35 each, with more than $15 of each purchase going to Imagination Library programs in Tennessee, which is enough to fund one child’s enrollment in the program for a full year. Roughly another $15 goes to the Tennessee Arts Commission and the remaining $4.25 covers the plate’s production costs, according to the program’s website.
While the Imagination Library plates have been around since 2017, Tennessee is requiring all drivers get new license plates this year. So, if you are one of them and haven’t done so, you can get the specialty plate at your local county clerk’s office. The plates are available only to Tennessee residents, unfortunately.
“As the statewide partner for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Tennessee, we are grateful for this opportunity to raise awareness of the program and the love of reading it fosters in children,” James Pond, president of the Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation, said in a statement according to the Chattanooga Pulse. “Not only will this license plate serve as a reminder of the importance of reading with children from birth, but it will support county affiliates in fundraising their half of the cost of books to ensure every Tennessee child is able to receive this wonderful program.”
If you’re unfamiliar, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library mails free books every month to children from birth to age 5, regardless of their family’s income, to encourage children to read.
The program began in 1995, with books originally only distributed to children living in Sevier County, Tennessee, where Parton grew up. It grew quickly, however, becoming a national program in 2000 and reaching a total of 1 million books mailed by 2003. The program has since mailed nearly 200 million books and is now offered across the U.S., as well as in Australia, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Even if you don’t live in Tennessee, you can still donate to the nonprofit program online to help further its mission but getting a cool license plate is out of the question for now.