Tennessee Honors Dolly Parton For Contributions To Children's Literacy

By Sarah Tate

April 23, 2021

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed legislation honoring state legend and country music icon Dolly Parton for her contributions to children's literacy, Fox 17 reports.

Parton has always been a beloved part of Tennessee for her place as a country legend, but she has also spent decades advocating for literacy after being inspired by her own father's inability to read. Her Imagination Library, launched in 1995, mails one book each month to children from birth to age 5. What started as a hometown initiative in her native Sevier County has grown to international levels, with children from Canada to Australia learning how to love reading.

"Proud to sign this resolution and recognize our TN Treasure Dolly Parton for her contributions to children's literacy," Gov. Lee said in a tweet Wednesday (April 21). "Since 1995, Dolly has worked far beyond 9 to 5 to distribute 152+ million books to 1.8+ million kids."

"Thank you, Dolly," Lee's message concluded. "TN will always love you."

This isn't the first time the Volunteer State has made moves to honor Parton. Earlier this year, the state legislature introduced a bill that would erect a statue of the "9 to 5" singer on Capitol grounds. While she appreciated the gesture, she asked for the bill to be removed.

"I am honored and humbled by their intention but I have asked the leaders of the state legislature to remove the bill from any and all consideration," she said in a statement, continuing, "given all that is going on in the world, I don't think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time."

Photo: Getty Images

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