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HomeVideoWATCH: Dolly Parton on why she devoted her life to helping children...

WATCH: Dolly Parton on why she devoted her life to helping children read

A cornerstone of Dolly Parton’s legacy has been her literacy outreach.

For a quarter century, her “Imagination Library” program has distributed free books to children around the world, from birth to age 5. The pop culture icon told the PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff that the initiative was inspired by her own father, who couldn’t read and write.

She said she saw how illiteracy affected him emotionally, and “I wanted to do something to help him,” she said. With the creation of the program, she said, “I felt like I was bringing honor to my dad.”

To date, the organization has delivered more than 150 million books in five countries.

Parton also suggested a few children’s books from the library to help kids stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, including the first book the organization sends out to children who sign up: “The Little Engine That Could.”

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