Dolly Parton Helps Pass Bill for California Kids to Receive Free Books

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage)

In an effort to help more children learn how to read, Dolly Parton has helped pass a bill for California children to receive free books. 

According to KTLA, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill, SB 1183, which will provide funding for Dolly Parton’s “Imagination Library” program. The initiative provides free books to children from birth to 5-years-old. 

Speaking about Dolly Parton’s program, California Senator and co-author of the bill, Shannon Grove, stated, “Today marks a significant day, the beginning of a magnificent statewide program which will put books in the hands of California children at a young age, opening the door to limitless possibility for their future.”

Fellow California Senator and co-author of the bill, Toni Atkins also said, “Growing up with very little money in southwest Virginia, my parents taught me that books were my ticket to see the world. A deep love of reading and learning is the greatest gift they ever gave me.”

Atkins then said that it is so special to be Abel to pass that gift on to children across California. “And, to be able to do so in partnership with my friend, Senator Grove, and my country music idol, Dolly Parton, is just icing on the cake.”

Earlier this year, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library officially made its way to every country in Arkansas. It is now mailing out roughly two million books each month. Speaking about the program, Parton said, “What we do is we give books to children from the time they’re born until they start school. We put their little names on it and put the books in the mailbox. They’re excited about that. They usually grab somebody in the family to read with them but it is my belief that if you can read, you can self-educate yourself.” 

Dolly Parton Says The Reason She Started ‘Imagination Library’ Was Because Of Her Father 

While continuing to speak about Imagination Library, Dolly Parton reflected on her decision to create the program and who inspired it to begin with. 

“The reason I started this whole program was because of my Daddy,” Dolly Parton stated. “We grew up in a rural area, we were mountain people, poor people, and my dad didn’t get a chance to go to school. Daddy couldn’t read or write but he was such a smart man.”

Although she does not have any children of her own, Dolly Parton said she knows what is important for children’s development. She went on to add, “I’m from a family of 12 children. Momma and daddy had 12–6 boys and 6 girls. So, I know how important little things are to children and how you do teach them in your very early years.”