PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WATE) — Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library continues to get recognition for its effforts to provide books for millions of children. The Library of Congress awarded the program the David M. Rubenstein Prize on Wednesday.
“Since 2014 when the Imagination Library received ‘best practice’ recognition from the Library of Congress Literacy Awards, the Dollywood Foundation has strategically positioned the Imagination Library for aggressive growth,” a statement from the Library of Congress reads. “Although mailing the books to each child’s home is only one aspect of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, it is a remarkable feat that helps improve literacy on an international scale and creates special moments for children and families.”
The Imagination Library has delivered more than 160 million books to children around the world instilling a love of literacy. The award comes with a $150,000 grant to continue the Imagination Library’s mission. Each month, 1.8 million age-appropriate books are sent to children from birth to age 5 around the world.
“We are grateful to win what truly is the most prestigious award from the Library of Congress. This award showcases how the dream Dolly had years ago has become one of the world’s largest book gifting programs,” Dollywood Foundation President Jeff Conyers said. “She continues to express her pride in what the Imagination Library has become, and she is excited for the growth it is poised to experience moving forward.
“There is no doubt Dolly treasures being called ‘The Book Lady’ more than just about anything.”
The United Nations General Assembly designates a number of “international days” to mark important aspects of human life and history, including International Literacy Day on Sept. 8. For more information on International Literacy Day, visit en.unesco.org/commemorations/literacyday.
For more information about The Imagination Library or about how to start a program in an area without The Imagination Library, please visit imaginationlibrary.com.