Dolly Parton and Dollar General Partner to Give Kids Free Books – WWD

ADVOCATING READING: Dollar General has donated $1 million to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which provides free books to children from birth to age five regardless of family income.

The donation was made through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and is part of the DGLF’s 30th anniversary celebration this year.

“I first want to congratulate the Dollar General Literacy Foundation on an amazing 30 years of supporting literacy efforts across the country,” said Dolly Parton. “Dollar General has been a longtime supporter of our work with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, and this amazing gift will help us expand my Imagination Library to even more children and families. We share such similar personal stories that are at the heart of our passion for inspiring a love of reading, and I look forward to many more years of partnering on this work that means so much to us.”

“Access to quality print materials and books play a critical role in children’s development of reading skills and in improving reading performance, and we are proud to continue our support of the Imagination Library as part of our 30th anniversary celebration,” said Denine Torr, executive director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. “Books help inspire imagination and foster critical thinking skills. We look forward to seeing the additional impact these funds and books will have.”

With this latest donation, Dollar General and its Literacy Foundation have provided a total of more than $2.3 million to Imagination Library programs across the U.S.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation was created by Dollar General’s former chief executive officer, Cal Turner Jr., in honor of his grandfather and Dollar General cofounder, J.L. Turner, who was functionally illiterate. DGLF supports nonprofit organizations, schools and libraries in their efforts to enhance quality classroom instruction, increase access to literacy programming, advance innovation and inspire the joy of reading. To date, the foundation has awarded more than $233 million to support nearly 19.3 million individuals improve their lives through literacy and education.

Founded in 1995 in tribute to her father, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library book-gifting program began as a way to distribute books to Parton’s impoverished hometown community in Sevier County, Tennessee. Following the success, the state of Tennessee pledged to pursue statewide coverage in 2004 and today, Imagination Library serves readers in the U.S.. Canada, the U.K., Australia and the Republic of Ireland. The program recently announced it had gifted more than 2.4 million free books through more than 2,700 local program partners during June 2023, bringing its total to more than 211 million free books gifted since its inception.

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