Welcome to Craven Smart Start, Inc

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library!

Smart Start and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library are working together to get books into the hands of North Carolina’s youngest children

In 2017, North Carolina’s state lawmakers included $3.5 million in the first year and $7 million in the second year of the state budget for Smart Start to administer Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library across North Carolina.

The Smart Start network, made up of 75 local partnerships that serve our state’s communities, is signing up families across NC for Imagination Library which is a book gifting program for children from birth to age five. Together, we are working to ensure children develop a love of reading early on.

Sign up for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library for free!

Please consider a donation to Craven Smart Start
Click HERE to donate

For just $25, Craven Smart Start and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library can provide one child, in Craven County, age appropriate books, every month, for one year!


Why support Craven Smart Start?

Young children often come to Kindergarten unprepared to learn.  Craven Smart Start initiates and funds programs in Craven County that address kindergarten readiness. Craven Smart Start also collaborates with other community organizations to support young children and their families.

We believe when young children are given the opportunity to reach their full potential, that they will become loving, nurturing independent individuals who will contribute to their families, communities, and society. We believe that all children, when surrounded by a supportive community, can achieve economic success and experience the highest quality of life. 

Advocating for Parents and Supporting Childcare Professionals

Craven Smart Start supports childcare professionals by providing continuing education to ensure quality care for all children, and by supporting the WAGE$ program in Craven County which provides needed supplements for childcare professionals so that they may move closer to earning a living wage. To understand more, please watch the video below.

See this LINK for 2016-2017 impacts of the WAGE$ program.


Creating a loving, caring, sharing community for children through health, education, economic development, and socialization.

Office Hours:  Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM

Click on the First 2000 Days graphic to learn more.


  • Craven Smart Start, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that administers Smart Start funds and programs in Craven County. Smart Start is designed to ensure that young children enter school healthy and ready to succeed. Donations are tax deductible. Financial information about this organization and copy of its license are available from the State Solicitation Licensing Branch at 919-807-2214. The license is not an endorsement by the State.