Imagination Library

Dolly Parton Announces Hurricane Relief Efforts

Published October 18, 2017 / Last Updated October 18, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

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
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Latest posts by Team Dolly (see all)

Donation to be made via One America Appeal in addition to donating 500,000 children’s books.

Today, Dolly Parton will assist with the ongoing relief efforts around the United States and its territories by making a contribution to the One America Appeal for Hurricane Relief to assist with immediate life-sustaining needs of those affected. The One America Appeal is a joint appeal originally launched by all five living former American Presidents to encourage their fellow citizens to support recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey. This special appeal was expanded to include areas most affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Dolly recalled,

“After the tremendous outpouring of support my hometown received last winter after the wildfires raged through the area, I want to do my part to help other areas affected by natural disasters. I admire and respect this effort led by our Presidents so it is an honor for me to contribute to their work.”

500,000 Children’s Book Donation

In addition to the financial contribution to the One America Appeal, Dolly will launch a partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, the nonprofit social enterprise First Book, and Penguin Young Readers to provide 500,000 books to hurricane-affected areas through the First Book National Book Bank. To kick off the campaign, Dolly’s foundation donated 165,000 books and the $90,750 needed to cover the shipping and handling charges to make books available quickly and at no cost to educators affected by the storms.

From Hurricane Katrina to Hurricane Sandy to last year’s floods in Louisiana, First Book has distributed over 5 million books to families affected by disasters, in partnership with children’s book publishers, including a substantial book donation from Penguin Young Readers. Penguin Young Readers also partners with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and First Book to support their book gifting programs and other outreach efforts, with a special focus on getting books to children in times of natural disasters. Dolly said,

“I know in the immediate aftermath of a disaster books are not the first thing people need or miss. But I also know from our past experience that after some time has passed, families, schools and libraries are eager to replenish their shelves, and their hearts, with books. First Book asked us to join with them to get the right books in the right hands at the right time and we were pleased to do so.”

First Book Representative (Chandler Arnold) And Penguin Random House Representative (Brenda Conway) Distributing Books In Houston
First Book Distribution In Houston
First Book Distribution In Houston
First Book Distribution In Houston
First Book Distribution In Houston
First Book

Photos courtesy of First Book

Visit Hurricane Book Relief to learn more or donate to this effort—or if you work with a school or program affected by the storms.

Schools and programs affected by the storms can sign up for free with First Book and will then receive information about how to request books; each book distribution will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Chandler Arnold, First Book’s Chief Operating Officer said,

“Children in need in these communities often didn’t have the books they deserve even before the storm; our work has never been more important than it is right now. In times of crisis, books mean stories at bedtime, adventures with trusted character friends, and opportunities to dream about a world far beyond your own front door. First Book is thrilled to team up with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and Penguin Young Readers to place so many new books in these children’s hands.”

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Founded in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting organization that has, to date, mailed nearly 100 million books to children in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States. Each month, the program currently mails a specially selected, high-quality, age-appropriate book to over 1 million registered children from birth until they start Kindergarten in participating communities. Thousands of local, sponsoring organizations provide funding and support to the program. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading in children, preparing them for school and inspiring them to dream. Recent studies suggest participation in the Imagination Library is positively and significantly associated with higher measures of early language development. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

First Book

First Book transforms the lives of children in need. Through a sustainable, market-driven model, First Book is creating equal access to quality education—making everything from brand-new, high-quality books and educational resources, to sports equipment, winter coats, snacks, and more—affordable to its member network of more than 325,000 educators who exclusively serve kids in need. Since 1992, First Book has distributed more than 170 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families in more than 30 countries. First Book currently reaches an average of 3 million children every year and supports more than one in four of the estimated 1.3 million classrooms and programs serving children in need. With an additional 1,000 educators joining each week, First Book is the largest and fastest-growing network of educators in North America exclusively serving kids in need.

Penguin Young Readers

Penguin Young Readers is one of the leading children’s book publishers in the United States. The company owns a wide range of imprints and trademarks including Dial Books, Dutton, Grosset & Dunlap, Kathy Dawson Books, Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin Workshop, Philomel, Puffin, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Viking, Razorbill, Speak, and Frederick Warne. These imprints are home to such award-winning, New York Times- bestselling authors as, Laurie Halse Anderson, Jay Asher, Judy Blume, Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Ally Condie, Roald Dahl, Tomie dePaola, Sarah Dessen, Anna Dewdney, John Flanagan, John Green, Oliver Jeffers, Marie Lu, Mike Lupica, Richelle Mead, Richard Peck, Ruta Sepetys, Jacqueline Woodson and dozens of other popular authors. Penguin Young Readers Group is also the proud publisher of perennial brand franchises such as the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, Peter Rabbit, Spot, the Classic Winnie the Pooh, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Madeline, Mad Libs, the Rangers Apprentice, Skippyjon Jones, Who Was?, and Flower Fairies among many others. Penguin Young Readers Group is a division of Penguin Group LLC, a Penguin Random House company.

Team DollyDolly Parton Announces Hurricane Relief Efforts

“I Believe In You”

Published October 13, 2017 / Last Updated October 17, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

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
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Latest posts by Team Dolly (see all)

Dolly Parton releases first children’s album and 44th solo album “I Believe In You”

Released on Oct. 13, “I Believe In You” is Dolly Parton’s first children’s album and 44th studio album. This project is especially for children and those young at heart. All of the proceeds will benefit Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

“My first album was released 50 years ago and it’s been an amazing 50 years since then. I am very excited that now I’m coming out with my first children’s album in all of those 50 years.”

“I Believe In You” includes 14 songs, all written and performed by Dolly. In addition to the title track, kids of all ages are sure to enjoy tunes like “I Am a Rainbow,” “Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny” and “Brave Little Soldier.” The CD also includes a new recording of “Coat of Many Colors” and a special audio track of Dolly reading her book of the same name.

 

“I Believe In You” Track List

  1. I Believe In You
  2. Coat of Many Colors (new recording)
  3. Together Forever
  4. I Am a Rainbow
  5. I’m Here
  6. A Friend Like You
  7. Imagination
  8. You Can Do It
  9. Responsibility
  10. You Gotta Be
  11. Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny
  12. Chemo Hero
  13. Brave Little Soldier
  14. Bonus track spoken audio: Coat of Many Colors (book read by Dolly Parton)

“I Believe In You” is released by Dolly Records/RCA Nashville. Tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 were produced by Tom McBryde and executive produced by Paul T. Couch. Tracks 2, 11, 12, and 13 were produced by Tom Rutledge and Richard Dennison and executive produced by Dolly Parton. All 14 tracks on “I Believe In You” were written and performed by Dolly Parton.

Imagination Library

Sharing a love of reading and books with children is very important to Dolly. In 1995, she founded her Imagination Library to honor her father who was smart and hardworking but never learned to read or write. Dolly believes that if you can read, you can do anything, dream anything and be anything. She is committed to giving children from all walks of life a chance that her father never had.

“It’s been 20 years since the Imagination Library was launched. We’ve seen 95 million books get into the hands of children and hopefully there will be many more.”

Since launching in Dolly’s home county in East Tennessee, the Imagination Library has expanded into four countries. Today the Imagination Library sends over one million free high-quality, age-appropriate books each month to children around the world.

Order CD  & Book

Order Dolly’s new children’s album on CD plus her “Coat of Many Colors” book.

 

Team Dolly“I Believe In You”

Imagination Library Launches Story Starters In London

Published October 6, 2017 / Last Updated October 6, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

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
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Latest posts by Team Dolly (see all)

Dolly Parton launches Story Starters, a new volunteer-led program in London to help young children become ready to read.

Dolly Parton launches Story Starters in the UK. It’s a new program that provides one-to-one language and communication support to young children. The program is designed to ensure that children have the skills to start primary school ready to read.

Held at Coram Campus in Bloomsbury, Dolly had a special message for the attendees. Also, children’s author and illustrator Sophy Henn is attending and engaging in a storytelling and drawing session for local children.

Story Starters

Story Starters is a new collaborative project between local children’s literacy charity Beanstalk, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and LuCid (The ESCR International Centre for Language and Communicative Development). The program aims to give children in Hackney, Wandsworth, Barnet and Islington support in developing their language and reading skills.

Research shows that children who benefit from high-quality support in their early years start school on average three months ahead in their literacy and language skills, compared with children who don’t. The program has been made possible by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, whose Dream Fund chose Story Starters to receive £1 million in funding in January 2017.

Volunteers Needed

Beanstalk is now looking for volunteers to become Story Starters in pre-schools and nurseries in Hackney, Wandsworth, Barnet and Islington. Story Starter volunteers will visit children twice a week and support three children for 20 minutes each. The sessions are fun, interactive and hugely beneficial to the children receiving extra support. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library will provide every Story Starter child with high-quality, professionally-selected, age-appropriate books. Books are sent directly to both the early years setting and the home of each Story Starter child. As a result, kids can enjoy the magic of stories at home and with their Story Starter. Ginny Lunn, CEO of Beanstalk, says,

“We know how important it is for children in the early years of their education to receive support with their language development, as this enables them to start primary school ready to read and able to thrive throughout their lives.”

Visit StoryStarters.org or call Beanstalk on 0845 450 0301 to become a Story Starter.

Team DollyImagination Library Launches Story Starters In London

Pre-Order Dolly’s New Children’s Album “I Believe In You”

Published September 15, 2017 / Last Updated September 15, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

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
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Latest posts by Team Dolly (see all)

Dolly to appear on ACM Honors and the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards as pre-orders open for 44th studio album and first children’s album “I Believe In You”

Dolly Parton’s first children’s album is now available for pre-order. “I Believe In You,” is for parents, fans, children and all those young at heart. It features 14 new songs, all written and performed by Dolly. All proceeds from the album will benefit the Imagination Library. Founded by Dolly in 1995, Imagination Library is a book gifting organization that has, to date, mailed over 94 million free books to children in Australia, Belize, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States.

Pre-Order “I Believe In You”

Pre-order Dolly’s new children’s album on CD releasing Oct. 13 and get her picture book based on her famous song “Coat of Many Colors.”

Pre-order digital album releasing Sept. 29 now and receive an instant download of the album’s title track “I Believe In You.”

ACM Honors & The Emmys

Today marks the start of a busy weekend for Dolly. She will appear on the ACM Honors on Friday, Sept.15 where she will accept the Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award. Then she will head to the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 17. “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love” is nominated for Outstanding Television Movie. Plus, Dolly and her “9 to 5” co-stars Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda just joined the A-List lineup of award presenters.

ACM Honors
Friday, Sept. 15
CBS 9/8c

69th Primetime Emmy Awards
Sunday, Sept. 17
CBS 8/7c

“I Believe In You” Track List

  1. I Believe in You
  2. Coat of Many Colors (new recording)
  3. Together Forever
  4. I Am a Rainbow
  5. I’m Here
  6. A Friend Like You
  7. Imagination
  8. You Can Do It
  9. Responsibility
  10. You Gotta Be
  11. Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny
  12. Chemo Hero
  13. Brave Little Soldier
  14. Bonus track spoken audio: Coat of Many Colors (book read by Dolly Parton)

A digital release of the new album on Dolly Records/RCA Nashville will be available Sept. 29, and the physical album will be available worldwide Oct. 13. “I Believe In You” is Dolly’s 44th studio album.

About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Founded in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting organization that has, to date, mailed more than 94 million books to children in Australia, Belize, Canada, United Kingdom and the United States. Each month, the program currently mails more than one million specially selected, high-quality, age-appropriate books to registered children from birth until they start Kindergarten in participating communities. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading in children, preparing them for school and inspiring them to dream. Recent studies suggest participation in the Imagination Library is positively and significantly associated with higher measures of early language and math development. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Team DollyPre-Order Dolly’s New Children’s Album “I Believe In You”

Imagination Library Homecomin’ 2017 Highlights

Published July 12, 2017 / Last Updated July 13, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

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
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Latest posts by Team Dolly (see all)

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library affiliates enjoyed four days in Pigeon Forge, TN during Homecomin’ 2017!

Local affiliates from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States visited Dolly’s home in the Great Smoky Mountains during Homecomin’ 2017. The biennial celebration was held at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa. And visiting affiliates took advantage of all the amenities of the resort and the Smokies during their working conference. David Dotson is the President of the Dollywood Foundation which houses the Imagination Library. David said,

“We hosted the very first Homecomin’ way back in 2001. We had just started to promote the Imagination Library and as I recall, we had about a dozen participants discussing how they could expand to their neighboring communities. Now the discussions are about expanding DPIL across entire states and provinces, becoming a part of public policy and celebrating over 100 million books gifted to our children.”

The Conference

Homecomin’ is held every two years in Pigeon Forge, TN. This year’s conference offered attendees the chance to gain valuable insight into the overall growth of the program and highlighted some recent case studies. The conferenced kicked off with a major announcement.

The legislature in North Carolina allocated $10,000,000 to expand the program across the state. This decision is a huge boost for the program and more importantly a wonderful resource for children and their families in that state.

During the week, some affiliates were invited to share their own success stories about program sustainability. Other topics included fundraising as it pertains to building relationships within a community. Additionally, members of the Book Selection Committee, including program partners from Penguin Random House, shared the process of choosing the high-quality, age-appropriate books for each child group. Attendees also listened to presentations about engaging political figures and in-depth research on the Imagination Library’s impact.

Surprises & Celebrations

Little Engine That Could Wall Quilt at Imagination Library Homecomin' 2017

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Mendocino County, First 5 Mendocino, surprised the event staff with a beautiful handmade quilt. With permission from Penguin Random House, Renee M. Gannon from Ukiah, Canada made the beautiful Little Engine wall quilt. This display piece was raffled off at the end of the week to one lucky winner. Affiliates also celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday.

In keeping with the international gathering, attendees donned bunny ears and celebrated “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.” This classic story welcomes children into the program in the United Kingdom.

Visiting Author

Special guest and award-winning author Matt de la Peña charmed the audience with his personal stories. He shared his experience growing up as a mixed-race child in Southern California. Matt openly talked about the lack of books in his childhood home and the impact that had on his family. His book, “Last Stop on Market Street” and his personal experiences make him the ideal ambassador for early literacy awareness. His message is especially relatable to minority children and their families.

In reflecting on the program and Matt’s guest appearance at the conference, David Dotson said,

“We have reached the point where authors recognize the honor bestowed upon their work when their book is chosen for the Imagination Library. We have now hosted a number of illustrious authors who tell us it is not just the number of books distributed by us that is so impressive. Rather it is witnessing this vast network of organizations and governmental entities that are united in their efforts to inspire children to love to read and to love to learn.”

Matt’s book, “Last Stop on Market Street” has beautiful illustrations by Christian Robinson. It takes readers on an energetic bus ride through a bustling city with CJ and his Grandma. Along the way, Grandma helps CJ see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.

The Imagination Library Book Selection Committee unanimously voted to add Matt’s book to the 2016 Book List (Canada & USA)*. “Last Stop on Market Street” would go on to win the 2016 Newbery Medal. It also earned a 2016 Caldecott Honor and a 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. Furthermore, it became a #1 New York Times Bestseller.

*“Last Stop on Market Street” will appear in the United Kingdom’s 2018 Book List.

Entertainment & Fun

Rest assured, the week wasn’t all work and no play for this group. Affiliates visited several attractions during their time in the Smoky Mountains. They enjoyed nightly fireworks at Dollywood’s DreamMore as well as live music and a host of amenities at the resort.

Small groups formed for some shopping at The Island. While they were there, they posed for a photo in front of The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, a now iconic Pigeon Forge symbol. On one night, they took in a dinner show at Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures. There they cheered on the Partons and the Owens families. They also went sightseeing and grabbed some photos of the Great Smoky Mountains.

On the final day, the entire group gathered at The Little Engine Playhouse inside Dollywood’s Heartsong Theatre. They watched the stage production of “Coat of Many Colors” based on Dolly’s book of the same name. In addition to this show, The Little Engine Playhouse will feature performances based on Jennifer Plecas’ “Pretend” and “The Little Engine that Could” by Watty Piper

Special Thanks & Looking Ahead

The Dollywood Foundation and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library would like to send a special thank you to everyone who helped make Homecomin’ 2017 a huge success. With a final thought, David Dotson said,

“Lastly, it is all too easy to be discouraged about the times we live in. When our network gathers for Homecomin’, the discouragement evaporates and is replaced by an abiding belief that there is indeed more good than bad in the world. These are the inspiring leaders in their communities and they will never rest to insure that their children are given every opportunity in the world to thrive and succeed.”

Plans are already underway for Homecomin’ 2019!

Visit Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to learn more about this incredible program that now mails over one million free books each month to children in four countries!

Team DollyImagination Library Homecomin’ 2017 Highlights