Celebrating Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Dolly Parton is a national treasure; I don’t think anyone disagrees with that. She’s been historically one of America’s most wholesome celebrities, and her philanthropy is known throughout the entire world. She was even one of the biggest independent donors to the Moderna vaccine, donating over a million dollars to research and development.

Book Culture Young Readers

Dolly Parton is a national treasure; I don’t think anyone disagrees with that. She’s been historically one of America’s most wholesome celebrities, and her philanthropy is known throughout the entire world. She was even one of the biggest independent donors to the Moderna vaccine, donating over a million dollars to research and development.

Today, on her 75th birthday, I’d like to ask us to celebrate the amazing work she’s done promoting literacy and helping to get books into the hands of children who want to learn how to read. Her Imagination Library program has been one of the most important literacy programs in the world, dedicated to the idea of dedicating books to low-income families that may not be able to afford books for their kids.

 

Image via Intermountain

 

The program was started in 1995 as a tribute to Dolly’s father who’d never learned how to read. She believed his inability to read kept him from achieving all of his dreams. Though she originally only wanted it to be a local program, it’s since grown into an enormous foundation for millions of readers all across the world.

 

 

As of 2020, the program has donated over 150 Million books to millions of children all over the world, making it one of the largest literacy organizations in the world. The program offers a book each month to each of its members, ensuring that they have a robust library by the time that they’re ready to start school.

 

“The seeds of these dreams are often found in books and the seeds you help plant in your community can grow across the world.” Image Via NPR

 

Reading materials are one of the biggest problems facing low-income households. According to a report by Scholastic, over 61% of low-income families have few or no books in their house. During a pandemic, with access to libraries being restricted, this makes programs like Imagination Library absolutely critical to ensuring that the next generation is a generation of readers.

Every child deserves to read regardless of how much money their family makes. So, I offer a special “thank you” to the country singer who believes so much in the joy and imagination that reading can spark. Happy birthday, Dolly, and here’s to many more.

 

Feature Image Via Imagination Library