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Dolly Parton Celebrates Donating 100 Million Books and Explains Her Motivation

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton

Since 1995 country singer Dolly Parton has been on a mission to deliver the gift of reading to children.

Parton’s Imagination Library began in her backyard of Sevier County, Tennessee with a goal of providing books to children, “no matter their family’s income.” 

Since then, the program has expanded with books sent to kids all over the world.

Now, the famous country-singer has donated her 100 millionth book.

Parton celebrated the milestone with a trip to Washington DC’s  Library of Congress and read aloud from her book “Coat of Many Colors.”

“Dolly Parton’s work through her Imagination Library is awe-inspiring. 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,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.

Parton explained the motivation behind her program.

"My dad didn't get the chance to go to school. And Daddy couldn't read and write, and that was kind of crippling to him," Parton told NPR.

Parton says she wanted to give other children the opportunities and access he didn’t have.  

Each book is selected by a panel of  early childhood literacy experts. Children are eligible for books from birth to five years old.

The nine-time Grammy award-winner spoke with CBN News’ Studio Five about the literacy program and her new children’s album last year.

"When I found out I was just about to give away our one-hundred-millionth book I thought well, why not just go ahead and do this children's album?" she said.

The album, titled I Believe in You was released in the Fall of 2017.

Parton says her faith is the compass for all she does.

"I pray every day. I pray about everything.  I ask God to lead me and guide me in all the decisions I make – and to bring all the good and right people into my life and to let me do something to glorify God and uplift mankind,” Parton told CBN News. 

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