In 1995 Dolly Parton began a program to help children in her hometown, The Imagination Library. The program had one goal, to send a book a week to a child who had been signed up for the program. The children would recieve books from birth to the time they entered school at Kindergarten level, with goals each year for learning.
The program was, and still is, a huge success, with over 71 million free books gifted to children in the US, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Of those countries, there are over 860,000 children currently benefiting from the program and recieving books every week. With a goal to raise literacy in children around the world, the program is doing well in working towards that goal of ridding the US and other countries of illiteracy.
Recently, to benefit the program, Dolly performed at Dollywood in Tennessee and raised $500,000 dollars for the program. The four shows were all sold out and the proceeds from them went to the Imagination Library to help buy books for children signed up for the program. Dolly spoke at one of the shows, thanking all in attendance:
“Thank you from all the kids and me. We give books to children all over the world now, and the Imagination Library started right here in Sevier County, right up here in these hills. So thank you all for coming. I truly believe that you can never get enough books into the hands of enough children.”
Dolly, you’re working in the right direction, that’s for sure. To contribute to the program or learn more about Imagination Library, visit their website here.
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