September 16, 2021

Studies have shown that the mere presence of books at home can help foster learning. But after 18 months of the pandemic, California’s youngest learners may be at most risk of falling behind.

This week, the story of a Berkeley school bus driver who started giving away books on her bus and realized that the book gap was much larger than she thought. She shares how she joined up with Dolly Parton to bring even more books to kids, and how parents and teachers can help kids get excited about reading.


Karen D’Souza, Senior Reporter, EdSource

Seena Hawley, Executive Director, The Berkeley Baby Book Project, an affiliate of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

    • You can sign up to receive books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library here.
    • You can hear Dolly Parton reading children’s books here.
    • You can find a list of books for young children here.

Read more stories about this topic on EdSource:

Upcoming EdSource Roundtable | Universal Transitional Kindergarten: What parents need to know

Join EdSource’s Karen D’Souza and Anne Vasquez for a roundtable discussion with providers, advocates and policymakers to explore the importance and impact of early education and how transitional kindergarten fits into the journey between preschool and kindergarten. Learn more and register.