Music legend Dolly Parton has made it her mission to get books in the hands of children, no matter their parents’ income.
The Library of Congress stood still and Dolly Parton’s voice filled the room. She sang to children – a tale of her childhood growing up poor in East Tennessee.
Parton’s father could not read or write. And 23 years ago she started a book program in her hometown in honor of him.
The Imagination Library sends free books to young children no matter their family income. From Tennessee it spread around the world.
And on Tuesday the program gave away its 100 millionth book.
“Of all the things that I’ve done in my life,” said Parton, “and I’ve done a lot because I’ve been around a long time, this is one of the most precious things.”
The book that broke the milestone is Parton’s own about a coat made by her mother from scraps and rags.
Classmates teased Parton when she wore it school, and she uses the story to highlight a theme she champions.
“I just want the kids to know that its okay to be how you are and who you are.”