Even though Dolly Parton is one of the biggest superstars in country music history, she's never forgotten about the place she came from. Parton grew up in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, where her family lived in a one-room cabin and often struggled to get by.
Since becoming a country music star, Parton has used her influence to help people all around the world, particularly in the area that she grew up. One issue that Parton is extremely passionate about is helping to increase child literacy, establishing the Dollywood Foundation to help support her quest.
In 1995, Parton furthered her campaign to increase child literacy by founding Dolly Parton's Imagination Library in her home county in Tennessee. The library's official website describes Parton's vision for the organization:
"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."
Due to the success of the initial program, Parton announced in 2000 that she would allow any community to partner with her to start the program in their local area. Now, over 60 million books are mailed to children across the United States, Canada, and even the United Kingdom. There are currently 1,600 communities with the Imagination Library program in place, and as Parton announced on Thursday (Feb. 4), one big city is about to join that total.
Through a video posted to the library's Facebook page, Parton announced that the Imagination Library program has now been launched in Washington D.C.
"I'm so happy to be working with you all to take what we started in Tennessee and bring it all the way to the nation's capital," said Parton in the announcement.
Parton is excited about the program's initiation in Washington D.C., and what it will mean for the children who live there.
"Libraries play such an important role in the lives of children, so it is an honor for us to join hands with the D.C. public library," said Parton. "Together, we inspire all of our children to dream more, learn more, care more, and be more."
You can watch Parton's full announcement in the video below!
What exciting news for Parton and for the children living in our nation's capital!
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