Early Literacy and Learning

At One Place, we are dedicated to providing access to books and resources that support language and literacy development and establish a generation of readers. There are only 2,000 days between the time a baby is born and when he or she begins kindergarten. Child development during those 2,000 days is critical and provides the foundation for future learning.

Studies show that the single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home before starting school. By the age of 2, children who are read to regularly display greater language comprehension, larger vocabularies, and better problem-solving skills than their peers.

Early literacy activities that support brain development include reading with and to your child, talking to your child and singing songs together.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Smart Start and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library are working together to provide books to North Carolina’s youngest children. The Smart Start network, made up of 75 local entities that serve communities across the state, is signing up families across NC for Imagination Library – a book gifting program for children from birth to age 5 that mails a new, high-quality, age-appropriate book each month directly to the homes of registered children. Together we are working to ensure children develop a love of reading early on.

As a way of sharing what the Imagination Library means to you and your child, please complete the Parent Survey to tell us about reading with your child.

Text “Books” to 910-333-0608 to receive a registration link, or get one-on-one assistance. Click the button below to register online now.

Register Online

Imagination Library Home
Parent Information Center
Parent Survey

Story Walks at the Park

One Place collaborates with Onslow County Parks and Recreation to maintain five permanent Story Walks at the Park. A Story Walk has pages of children’s books mounted on posts that line a path. They combine early literacy with physical activity in a natural learning environment. Each park features a different story every month. Our Story Walks are part of the Story Trails of North Carolina.

The locations of the Story Walks are at local Onslow County parks:


Little Free Libraries

One Place maintains more than 55 Little Free Libraries throughout the county in an effort to provide access to books to the entire community. Readers of all ages are encouraged to “Take a book, share a book.” Whether you donate a book or borrow a book, Little Free Libraries allow us all to make literacy a focus in Onslow County.

Find the Little Free Library closest to you!


Community Book Drives

For more than 20 years, One Place has coordinated an annual book drive collaborating with local businesses such as banks, restaurants, realtors, schools, and early learning centers to collect and distribute more than 125,000 books. We accept gently used books at our book drop located at 900 Dennis Road, Jacksonville, NC.

If you’re interested in hosting a book drive, contact Lisa Davis.