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Dolly Parton doesn’t do anything on a small scale, and that includes giving back. Through her nonprofit organization Imagination Library, the multitalented entertainer has donated 100 million books to children to encourage a love of reading.
Imagination Library mails free books to children from birth until they start school, regardless of their family’s income. The books are sent throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Parton created organization in 1995 and it finally hit this incredible milestone on February 27.
This extra-special donation was dedicated to the Library of Congress, where Parton also gave a reading of her children’s book, “Coat of Many Colors.” The book utilizes lyrics from Parton’s classic song by the same name and is based on her own childhood in East Tennessee.
Parton’s reading served as a kick-off event for a new initiative between the Imagination Library and the Library of Congress. From March through August, a children’s book will be read every Friday morning on a live-stream and shared with libraries through the country. You can find out more details about the live-stream here.
“It makes me feel proud of who I am, where I’m from and the fact that I am in a position to help people and especially the kids,” the country star said in an appearance on “Good Morning America.” “It’s so important to me because if you can teach children to read they can dream and if you dream you can be successful.”
Watch the clip below:
Parton explained that she was inspired to launch Imagination Library because of her father, who never had an opportunity to go to school.
“My daddy couldn’t read and write and that always troubled him and bothered him so I wanted to do something special for him,” Parton said. “So I got the idea to start this program and let my dad help me with it and he got to live long enough to hear the kids call me the ‘book lady.’”
To learn more about how to work with the organization in your community, visit their website.