Dolly Parton is loved for her music, film roles and philanthropic work. The Grammy Award winner considers her Imagination Library to be her passion project, delivering books to pre-K children each month to arouse a passion for reading. Parton unveiled a specific children’s title that embodies the program’s theme.
Dolly Parton wants books in ‘every household’
The Imagination Library was launched in 1995 and started as a tool for bringing books to children in Parton’s hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee. The initiative has grown over the last 25-plus years to serve millions of children around the world, with the aim of fostering a passion for reading.
“My favorite thing today is the same as it was 20 years ago – Imagination Library,” Parton told Paper Magazine in 2015. “We created it for the kids in my hometown to inspire a love of reading and a love of books by giving them a new book every month until they are 5 years old… with the help of thousands of local partners, we are still working. ”
The “Coat of Many Colors” singer’s mission is to bring literature into homes around the world so children can have their own personal library of titles.
“It’s incredible what books mean to people at certain times in their lives,” Parton noted. “I want books to be in every household in the world so that all children have the opportunity to love reading and love to learn.”
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Dolly Parton loves the ‘message’ of this book
The classic children’s book “The Little Engine That Could” by Watty Piper is close to Parton’s heart. That 9 to 5 star associated with the story of the brave little engine and gave her some much-needed inspiration as a child.
“It was one of the first books I ever remember that impressed me,” Parton told SheKnows in 2017 of the beloved literary tale. “It also helped build my confidence.
The book is so special to Parton that she sends it to each child as their first title from the Imagination Library and considers the story as the basis of her program.
“‘The little engine that could’ is my favorite – it’s really the symbol of the fantasy library,” she said in 2010 according to Chapter 16. “The message is timeless, and I always like to think of myself as the little engine, that did!”
Books were few in Dolly Parton’s childhood
Parton revealed that books were not a top priority when she was growing up with her 11 siblings, so they learned to make their own stories.
“We really had no books in our home,” she explained. “Too many kids and not enough money or space. So storytelling just came with the territory. All my relatives seemed to have that gift, but most of the time it came out in song. The only book we had was the Bible, and some of my best memories were the times Mom read the wonderful stories to me. “
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Now an avid reader, Parton wants to share his literary passion with children to get them started on books at an early age. The “Jolene” singer emphasized the help she receives from others who make the Imagination Library so successful.
“I had no idea this was going to be that big,” Parton revealed. “The main reason it’s been so successful is all the local sponsors who have made my dream their own. I get too much credit for everything that has happened, so it’s important to me that everyone understands, that it has been a journey for a thousand people.… I love it. “