Dolly Parton Donates 100 Millionth Book To Children

February 28, 2018

Since 1995, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library has been donating books to children in cities across the world where her program is offered.

Yesterday, the beloved country music star went to Washington to deliver her 100 millionth book.

Dolly parton donates 1 millionth book to kids
Credit: Shawn Miller / Library of Congress

Imagination Library sends free books to children from birth until their first day of school, regardless of their parents' income. The program, which originally distributed books to kids living in Dolly's hometown in Tennessee, now sends them to children around the globe.

Dolly says she started the program to honor her father, Lee Parton, who never learned to read or write himself, but was "the smartest person I've ever known."

Her father did live long enough to see the program grow beyond the boundaries of their hometown. "He was prouder of that than anything," Dolly said.

Dolly's Imagination Library currently operates in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

"Dolly Parton's work through her Imagination Library is awe-inspiring," Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said. “They have counted the number of books given away – 100 million – but there is no way to truly quantify the impact this program has had on developing young readers across America and in other parts of the world. This is an extraordinary gift to humankind. The Library of Congress shares this passion for developing young readers and I am so pleased to announce these cooperative programs, which will provide an opportunity for children anywhere to connect with a fun, engaging reading experience."

And what book could be more fitting to commemorate the Imagination Library's 100 millionth than one written by Dolly herself. "Coat of Many Colors" is a picture book featuring the lyrics of Dolly's song of the same name with illustrations by Brooke Boynton-Hughes.

Watch the video below.

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