Run For Reading 5K At RPB Commons Park Nov. 18

The award-winning free book gifting program for children under age five, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is coming to Palm Beach County and will hold a family-friendly run/walk 5K event to benefit the program at Royal Palm Beach Commons Park on Saturday, Nov. 18 starting at 8 a.m. Registration is open now through Nov. 17. The event is presented by the Annette Urso Rickel Foundation.

The official local partner of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, the Palm Beach County Imagination Library mails one free, high-quality, age-appropriate book per month to every child enrolled, at no cost to the family, regardless of income.

The success of the Imagination Library program depends on local community partners, and the Palm Beach County Imagination Library will hold its second annual Imagination Library Run for Reading 5K on Saturday, Nov. 18. All proceeds will go toward purchasing Imagination Library books for children in Palm Beach County.

This family friendly event will be timed by Accuchip, and the first 250 registered participants will receive a uniquely designed finisher’s medal, race shirt and swag bag filled with items from sponsors, including locally grown rice and sugar from Florida Crystals.

There will be book giveaways of Imagination Library books, and a STEM activity for kids provided by “Stories and STEM” of the Palm Beach County Literacy Coalition.

Research shows that reading to young children is the biggest predictor of future success in school and the best way to foster a lifelong love of reading. One third of all children in Palm Beach County currently read below grade level. The Imagination Library helps families build an at-home library of age-appropriate, high-quality books that are selected by a panel of educators at the Dollywood Foundation.

Dolly Parton created the Imagination Library in 1995 as a tribute to her father, who never learned to read.

“Before he passed away, my daddy told me the Imagination Library was probably the most important thing I had ever done,” Parton has said. “I can’t tell you how much that meant to me because I created the Imagination Library as a tribute to my daddy.”

Over the years the Imagination Library has won many accolades, including recognition from the Library of Congress, helping to make it the preeminent book gifting program for young children in the world.

Set to begin at 8 a.m., the Imagination Library Run for Reading 5K will offer a professionally timed and managed run/walk, with many family fun opportunities. Registration is open now through Nov. 17 at

Learn more about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library at

The Annette Urso Rickel Foundation seeks to enrich STEAM education in Florida schools and organizations by supporting and inspiring students and cultivating talented teachers.