Dolly Parton donates 100 millionth book to further children's literacy

The singer's Imagination Library has been providing children with free books since 1995

Adi Bloom

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She is renowned for singing of the trials of working nine to five. But, in real life, Dolly Parton has shown that hard work and commitment can pay off.

The country singer has just donated her 100 millionth book to children, in the interests of promoting literacy.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is an international scheme that delivers free books to children from birth until they begin school. Launched in 1995, the scheme had donated one million books to US children by 2003.

The Imagination Library later expanded internationally. By 2007, British children knew that Dolly would always love them – and their literacy efforts, too.

This week, the rhinestone-encrusted singer dedicated her 100 millionth book – a special edition of her own children’s book, Coat of Many Colors, named after her song of the same title – to the US Library of Congress collection.

'Little programme'

Carla Hayden, the librarian of Congress, said: “There is no way to truly quantify the impact this programme has had on developing young readers across American and in other parts of the world. This is an extraordinary gift to humankind.”

The Imagination Library and the Library of Congress are also launching a storytime scheme for young readers. From March until August, it will host weekly story-reading events, along with music performances and special guests.

These sessions will be live-streamed so that children can also watch them online.

Employing her trademark Southern understatement, Ms Parton said: “I am so honoured that our little programme has now grown to such a point that we can partner with the Library of Congress to bring even more stories to children across the country.”

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Adi Bloom

Adi Bloom is Tes comment editor

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