Usher in Autumn with Imagination Library

Published September 20, 2021 / Last Updated September 23, 2021
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Inspires a Love of Reading This Fall

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library ushers in autumn by celebrating major achievements in literacy while encouraging good reading habits with a colorful selection of fall books!

As of September 2021, Dolly’s childhood literacy program has gifted over 167 million books to children across the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, and the Republic of Ireland. As we enter into fall, the Imagination Library continues to inspire more children around the world to Dream More, Learn More, Care More and Be More!

Celebrating Significant Achievements

On International Literacy Day, September 8, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library received one of the highest literacy honors from the Library of Congress for the work it does to instill a love of reading in children. The Library of Congress awarded the Imagination Library with the $150,000 David M. Rubenstein Prize for its work in delivering more than 160 million books to children around the world. According to a release from the Library of Congress,

“Since 2014 when the Imagination Library received ‘best practice’ recognition from the Library of Congress Literacy Awards, the Dollywood Foundation has strategically positioned the Imagination Library for aggressive growth…Although mailing the books to each child’s home is only one aspect of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, it is a remarkable feat that helps improve literacy on an international scale and creates special moments for children and families.”

Another recent achievement of the Imagination Library was its recognition as the 2021 Friend of Education by the National Association of State Boards of Education. This national award is given annually to an individual or organization whose contributions to preK-12 education are significant and enduring. Robert Hull, NASBE president and CEO said,

“The Imagination Library exemplifies what NASBE values: equity and excellence in the education of all children. The Imagination Library has inspired the love of reading in our youngest children, making it possible for children in all circumstances to thrive in school and support lifelong learning.”

Fall in Love With Reading

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is dedicated to inspiring a love of reading and learning by gifting books, free of charge to families, through funding shared by Dolly and local community partnerships. Fall is a wonderful time of the year to cozy up with your child and read a good book together! Here are a few of the specially-selected, age-appropriate books going out to registered children this fall.

 

You Choose Fairy TalesYou Choose Fairy Tales

Children can choose what’s happening next in this imaginative adventure! “You Choose Fairy Tales” by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt inspires children to use their imagination to make up a story of their own.

 

 

Corduroy Takes a BowCorduroy Takes A Bow

Using her own experiences as a Tony Award-winning Broadway actress, Viola Davis writes the story of Corduroy and Lisa’s first trip to the theatre in “Corduroy Takes a Bow.”

 

 

The Golden GlowThe Golden Glow

Fox embarks on a quest to find a rare and mysterious plant in “The Golden Glow,” a perfect book for nature lovers, written and illustrated by Benjamin Flouw.

 

 

New to the Imagination Library?

Check availability in your area to register a child, sign up to receive a notification when the Imagination Library becomes available to you or learn more about how to Start A Program in your area.

Team DollyUsher in Autumn with Imagination Library

Library of Congress Honors Imagination Library With Significant Award

Published September 16, 2021 / Last Updated September 29, 2021
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library awarded David M. Rubenstein Prize by Library of Congress

The worldwide literacy program that many have called “the little program that could” continues to receive praise and recognition for its role in shaping the future for millions of children around the world. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library received one of the highest literacy honors from the Library of Congress on International Literacy Day for the work it does to instill a love of reading in kids.

The Library of Congress awarded the Imagination Library, an initiative of The Dollywood Foundation, with the $150,000 David M. Rubenstein Prize for its work in delivering more than 160 million books to children around the world. The Imagination Library continues to race at an ever-accelerating pace, now providing 1.8 million high-quality, age appropriate books each month to children birth to age five around the world. Dolly herself visited the Library of Congress on February 28, 2018, to enshrine the program’s 100 millionth book, fittingly a copy of “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors,” which is an adaptation of her iconic song of the same name.

According to a release from the Library of Congress, “Since 2014 when the Imagination Library received ‘best practice’ recognition from the Library of Congress Literacy Awards, the Dollywood Foundation has strategically positioned the Imagination Library for aggressive growth…Although mailing the books to each child’s home is only one aspect of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, it is a remarkable feat that helps improve literacy on an international scale and creates special moments for children and families.”

The David M. Rubenstein Prize

The prize award is named in honor of David M. Rubenstein, the co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group. Rubenstein is a major benefactor of the Library of Congress and is the chairman of the Library’s lead donor group, the James Madison Council. Dollywood Foundation President Jeff Conyers said,

“We are grateful to win what truly is the most prestigious award from the Library of Congress. This award showcases how the dream Dolly had years ago has become one of the world’s largest book gifting programs. She continues to express her pride in what the Imagination Library has become, and she is excited for the growth it is poised to experience moving forward. There is no doubt Dolly treasures being called ‘The Book Lady’ more than just about anything.”

The United Nations General Assembly designates a number of “international days” to mark important aspects of human life and history, including International Literacy Day on September 8. For more information on International Literacy Day, visit en.unesco.org/commemorations/literacyday.

New to the Imagination Library?

You can check availability in your area to register a child, sign up to receive a notification when the Imagination Library becomes available to you or learn more about how to Start A Program in your area.

Team DollyLibrary of Congress Honors Imagination Library With Significant Award

National Conference of State Legislatures 2019 Legislative Summit

Published August 8, 2019 / Last Updated August 9, 2019
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly addresses over 4,000 US lawmakers and legislative leaders at the annual conference

Dolly Parton appeared as a keynote speaker at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) 2019 Legislative Summit, held August 5-8 in Nashville, TN. The annual bipartisan conference aims to provide states “support, ideas, connections and a strong voice on Capitol Hill,” and Dolly took the stage to talk about literacy and her Imagination Library program.

During a Q&A segment with Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Dolly shared how her father’s inability to read or write inspired her to launch the Imagination Library, which mails one free book each month to children from birth to age five in participating communities. What started in 1995 as a program in her hometown of Sevier County, TN, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library now spans five countries and mails over 1.4 million free books each month to children around the world.

The Imagination Library relies on local partners to secure funding for the program, and in 2004, the state of Tennessee became the first to pass legislation supporting a statewide rollout of the program. During their on-stage discussion, Gov. Lee emphasized the scientifically-proven benefits of reading to your child, while Dolly encouraged all of the legislative leaders in attendance to adopt the Imagination Library as a statewide program so that “all children in our country will have access to books.”

 “We’d like all the states to go statewide with it,” she said. “It’s not just for poor kids, but for all kids, for every child who signs up.”

Representing the Tennessee General Assembly, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and House Speaker-select Cameron Sexton appeared on stage to present Dolly with a $25,000 check for her Dollywood Foundation, which funds the Imagination Library.

Dolly concluded her appearance with a touching performance of “Coat of Many Colors” and brought the entire audience to their feet with an inspiring rendition of “Try,” a song she wrote to celebrate her Imagination Library. Dolly left all of the conference attendees with a message of inspiration, encouraging them all to follow their dreams, to respect and love all of God’s children and to take any opportunity to work together.

Pictured Above: Dolly Parton, Toi Hutchinson (Illinois, Legislator)

Photo Credit: Kayla Schoen

Michelle Vos, Dolly Parton, Robin Vos (Wisconsin, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Scott Saiki (Hawaii, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Curtis Bramble (Utah, Legislator)
Tomee Heining, Dolly Parton, Jon Heining (Texas, Legislative Staff)
Dolly Parton, Martha Wigton (Georgia, Legislative Staff)
Dolly Parton, Chuck Truesdell (Kentucky, Legislative Staff)
Dolly Parton, Jim Hendren (Arkansas, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Matthew J. Shepherd (Arkansas, Legislator)
Matthew Moonen (Maine, Legislator), Dolly Parton, Jeremy Kennedy
Dolly Parton, Matt Huffman (Ohio, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Ronald Kouchi (Hawaii, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Nicole Jefferson (Amazon)
Dolly Parton, Mike Bell (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Bill Powers (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Ken Yager (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Art Swann (Tennessee, Legislator)
 
Dolly Parton, Jeff Yarbro (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Dolores Gresham (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, William Lamberth (Tennessee, Legislator)
 
Bo Watson (Tennessee, Legislator), Dolly Parton
 
Dolly Parton, Patsy Hazlewood (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Mary Littleton (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Mike Carter (Tennessee, Legislator)
Dolly Parton, Jack Johnson (Tennessee, Legislator)
 
Dolly Parton, Lowell Russel (Tennessee, Legislator)
 
Dolly Parton, Scott W. Gilmer (Tennessee, Legislative Staff)
Cameron Sexton (Tennessee, Legislator), Dolly Parton
 
 
 
 
 
 
David Dotson (CEO, Dollywood Foundation), Dolly Parton, Nora Briggs (Executive Director, North America, Dollywood Foundation), Jeff Conyers (President, Dollywood Foundation)

 

Team DollyNational Conference of State Legislatures 2019 Legislative Summit

The FBI Honors The Dollywood Foundation

Published May 6, 2019 / Last Updated May 6, 2019

The Dollywood Foundation received the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award.

On May 3, 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) held an annual event at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. During this event, FBI Director Christopher Wray presented 57 individuals and organizations with the Director’s Community Leadership Award.

The Director’s Community Leadership Awards honor individuals and organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs and violence in America. Dolly Parton and the Dollywood Foundation received this honor from the Knoxville Division for the generous support and goodwill provided to the people who were affected by the 2016 wildfires. David Dotson, Chief Executive Officer of the Dollywood Foundation accepted the award on behalf of the Foundation. Dolly Parton responded to the honor with a special message.

Director’s Community Leadership Award

The awards were formally created in 1990 to honor the work of community leaders supporting the FBI’s mission. Honorees are nominated by leaders of the FBI’s 56 field offices and the Bureau’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

2018 Director’s Community Leadership Award Winners

 

FBI Director Christopher Wray presented 57 individuals and organizations with the Director’s Community Leadership Award.

 

Michael MartinThe FBI Honors The Dollywood Foundation

Fire Departments Receive $200,000 From Dolly Parton’s My People Fund

Published March 18, 2019 / Last Updated March 18, 2019

Dolly Parton’s My People Fund donates $200,000 to eight volunteer fire departments and their training center. Tennessee House of Representatives honor Dolly Parton.

On Saturday, March 16, Dolly Parton met with all of the Fire Chiefs in Sevier County at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa. In recognition of their instrumental role in fighting the 2016 wildfires, The Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund donated $20,000 to each volunteer fire station and gave $40,000 to their area training center. In total, Dolly presented them with $200,000 for their brave service to the community.

“It is only fitting that the last of the My People Fund will go to those who were the first to respond to the fires,” said Dolly Parton.

Tim Baker is the Chief of Waldens Creek Volunteer Fire Department and current President of the Sevier County Fire Chiefs Association. He said, “We are so thankful for this donation to all of the fire departments and for our training center. The Waldens Creek VFD will use part of the money to purchase gear and part of the money to replace the roof on the station.”

According to Chief Baker, the training center donation will help build a new classroom. The training center is located on Center View Road, on property donated by the county. It’s used by all fire departments in the county as well as local law enforcement. Chief Baker said,

“This is fantastic. We needed about $40,000 to meet our goal for the classroom and now we have it!”

Tennessee House of Representatives


In conjunction with this donation, the Tennessee House of Representatives presented Dolly Parton with a resolution to recognize and honor her as one of Tennessee’s most beloved and accomplished daughters.

Pictured from Left to Right: Mark White, Dale Carr, Dolly Parton, Ron Travis, Andrew Farmer and Robin Smith

About My People Fund

The Dollywood Foundation established the My People Fund just 48 hours after the 2016 wildfires. In the weeks and months following, the Fund provided $1000 each month for six months to Sevier County families whose homes were uninhabitable or were completely destroyed in the Smoky Mountain wildfires. Any family who lost their primary residence (renters and homeowners) due to the wildfires in Sevier County were eligible. Due to the tremendous outpouring of donations and support, the final distribution checks were $5000 (per family).

Photo Credits: Curtis Hilbun

Pictured Above from Left to Right: Pete Kilman, Marvin Rolen, Tim Baker, John Satterfield, Heidi Satterfield, Dolly Parton, Joe Fields, Stephen Walley, Chris Young, Tony Patty, John Linsenbigler

Michael MartinFire Departments Receive $200,000 From Dolly Parton’s My People Fund