National Treasure Dolly Parton Just Donated Her 100 Millionth Book

“Dolly Parton’s work through her Imagination Library is awe-inspiring."

Country music legend Dolly Parton has made many noteworthy achievements in her career so far. She's earned nine Grammy Awards, 46 Grammy Award nominations, two Academy Award nominations, and 10 Country Music Association Awards. She's one of only seven female artists to win the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year Award. Not to mention 26 of her songs have reached No. 1 on the Billboard country charts. 

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But on Tuesday, Parton made an even more exceptional accomplishment by donating her 100 millionth book to children in need through her charity, Imagination Library. The organization mails over 1 million free books to children every month in participating communities within the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia. Parton started Imagination Library in 1995 after being inspired by her father's inability to read and write, according to the organization's website

"Dolly Parton's work through her Imagination Library is awe-inspiring," Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a press release. "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."

In addition to donating her 100 millionth book, Parton announced yesterday that Imagination Library will host a monthly reading program for young readers at the Library of Congress. 

From March through August, story time will be held once a week at the Library's Young Readers Center for children up to age 5. Each free, public event will feature a reading of a children's book, music, and special guests. For those who can't make it, the program will be livestreamed on the Library of Congress' social media pages, according to the press release.

On Tuesday, Parton read her newest children's book, Coat Of Many Colors, based on her 1971 single of the same name during the announcement ceremony.

"I always like to say that 100 million books have led to 100 million stories," Parton said in the press release. "I am so honored that our little program is 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."

Cover image via Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

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