Dolly Parton has long been a major advocate for children’s literacy. Inspired by her own father’s illiteracy, the country icon launched her Imagination Library in 1995. The program gifts free books to children from birth until the age of five so kids of any economic background have access to books.
Now, the singer has partnered with YouTube Kids Reading Month to entice even more children to pick up a book. The annual initiative aims to encourage children’s love of reading. This year, Dolly shares her own reading playlist and is featured on the video platform’s channel.
“Hey there, I’m Dolly,” the country legend says in one video clip. “And, did you know one of my favorite things to do is to read? There’s just something magical about getting lost in a good book! Did you know that you can learn about anything if you can read about it? That’s why I started my Imagination Library, because you can’t get enough books in the hands of children.”
Dolly’s playlist includes the lyric video for her children’s book, “Coat of Many Colors,” inspired by her 1971 single. Decades later, in 1996, a children’s picture book of the song was published which included illustrations by Judith Sutton.
In addition to Dolly’s support for YouTube Kids Reading Month, other celebrity read-alongs with their own playlists include Jimmy Fallon, Viola Davis and Kristen Bell as they read their favorite children’s books. According to a press release, Reading Month on YouTube Kids aims to unlock literacy for children around the world. The month-long initiative kicks off in the U.S. as well as other countries, throughout August.
Dolly was also recently recognized for her contributions in improving lives throughout Tennessee. The country legend was honored by the Country Music Hall of Fame Leadership Tennessee with the first-ever Dolly Parton Excellence in Leadership Award on Aug. 11.