Dolly Parton Imagination Library in conjunction with Mecklenburg County Smart Start

                      (If you do not live in Mecklenburg County, checkout the Smart Start in your county.)

In 1995, Dolly Parton launched an exciting new effort, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee, USA. Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.   For more information about how the Dolly Parton Imagination Library works here in Charlotte, please contact Champagne Selman at or 704-943-9780. or visit the website and sign up your 0-5 year old child.   They get a FREE book each month mailed to them in their name. 

What We’re Doing


Organization Profile

The Club has partnered with the Briarwood Academy, the local elementary school, to provide tutoring, EOG monitoring, and after-school support. The school has provided us with space that is called the "The Briarwood Cottage", where 3rd graders are tutored in math and reading after school.  We thank the East Board for their financial assistance in providing funds to purchase snacks and supplies. We also thank the Briarwood PTSA for their support.

In partnership with Shannon Park Neighborhood Association, the Club participated in a school dance at Briarwood where admission was a canned good. The food was sent to Greater Bethel AME Church's Missionary Food Pantry to help fill baskets for families at Thanksgiving.

Carolina Cardinals Optimist Club


Founded: February 4, 2016

President:  Betty Parker

President Elect: Coach Brenda Slade

Secretary/Treasurer: Bobbi Hague

JOI Advisor:  Shanoah Parker

OI Foundation Rep:  Ebec Ratcliff

Corresponding Secretary: Mary Dingle

EIN: 81-1600502

When Eastland Mall closed, it left little for the youth to do. Prior to being demolished, they could go there to the movies, the ice skating rink, concessions, shop and just “hang out” with their friends.

We saw a need and in 2016 we partnered with the Garinger High School and conducted our first Tennis Camp. By incorporating the Nutrition Program, parents were able to provide a healthy breakfast and lunch for their children each day while they were out of school.

The tennis camp has provided a safe haven for these children, where they not only learn to play the game of tennis, but develop other skill-sets such as good sportsmanship, team building, reading skills, oratorical practices and book reporting.

The 2018 Camp will be held at West Charlotte High School - 2219 Senior Drive (off LaSalle Street) starting on Monday, June 11th at 8:00am.