Imagine this…platinum award winning Dolly Parton is the driving force behind the world’s single largest literacy program! It’s the absolute truth, and this latest achievement by the multi-talented country music legend proves that great things come in small packages.
Dolly started her literary venture, Imagination Library, in her native Sevier County, Tennessee as a simple outreach program. Along the way it’s become the single largest enterprise of its kind. And, next month the Imagination Library will reach yet another exciting apex.
Each month the homegrown library gifts hundreds of thousands of books to preschool children up to age five. But starting in December the Imagination Library will begin gifting one million books a month!
That’s a lot of happy little readers that Dolly has touched around the world! To further commemorate this amazing event, Dolly has recognized one very lucky young reader in an extra special way.
Two-year old Evey Johns from Arkansas is a brand-new member of Imagination Library. Dolly announced on November 15th that tiny Evey was randomly selected to receive a college scholarship to the school of her choice.
I thought long and hard about the best way to honor … reaching a million children a month,” said Parton, “… what better way … than by helping one special child pursue her college degree.”
Since 1995 the Imagination Library has distributed over 85 million books to promote childhood reading. In 2016 alone the Library expects to give over 11 million books to children across the globe. Dolly’s goal in starting the program was to instill an early and lifelong love of reading, ready children for school, and inspire their dreams. I can’t think of a more worthy goal for all of the world’s children!
Dolly Parton is the ultimate hyphenate in the country music industry: a singer-songwriter-author actress-humanitarian-businesswoman. Dolly was awarded a National Medal of the Arts in 2005, and she received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006.
She’s one of only a handful of entertainers to have been nominated for Emmy, Tony, Grammy and Academy Awards. If you haven’t caught her heartwarming performances in the hugely popular films, “9 to 5,” and “Steel Magnolias,” what are you waiting for?!
In addition to all of her other accomplishments, Dolly’s music industry achievements alone are staggering. She is the single highest achieving female act in the history of country music and her music catalogue has reached a whopping 100 million-plus sales to date (and still counting!).
Dolly’s show business break came in 1967, courtesy of country legend and star-maker, Porter Waggoner. Her crossover success includes the 1980’s hits, “Here You Come Again,” and “Islands in the Stream.”
The incomparable singer from Pigeon Forge has won eight Grammy awards and she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999. She has earned 25 RIAA certified multi-platinum, platinum, and gold awards and she holds the record for the most number one spots on Billboard Country (25) for a female artist.
Dolly is an incredibly prolific songwriter. Can you believe that she’s written over 3,000 songs to showcase her incredible voice? Her iconic hit, “I Will Always Love You,” actually charted twice in the U.S.; once for Dolly and once for Whitney Houston. This gorgeous melody is one of just three songs included in the CMA’s 50th anniversary commemorative video, “Forever Country.”
In addition to the Imagination Library, Dolly’s other business ventures include Dollywood, a theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Dolly is currently touring in support of her latest CD, “Pure & Simple,” and you can catch her new TV special, “Christmas of Many Colors,” on November 30th on NBC.
Be sure to keep up with all of Dolly’s latest adventures at her website: Dollywood.com
Written by Tanya Clark