Book chest

23rd February 2007 at 00:00
Few would argue that Dolly Parton is not well-endowed. Fewer would suspect that those endowments lie in the field of literacy.

But Jonathan Douglas, the director of the National Literacy Trust, says the country and western singer should become a national reading inspiration.

Dolly's philosophy is that while working nine to five ain't no way to make a living, reading between nought and five is. Her Imagination Library literacy scheme in the United States provides children with a book a month for their first five years. It was enough to convince Mr Douglas of Ms Parton's ample charms. Speaking at a Westminster Education Forum seminar on literacy, he said: "Those two lessons, embedding and sustaining, are things we need to consider, too. A child responds not only to the school environment, but to the wider society environment."

Children who learn to love reading early on, he said, will continue to love reading for the rest of their lives. This should come as little surprise.

Ms Parton, after all, is mistress of sustained emotion. "I," she famously sang, "I-I-I will always love you." For details see:

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today