June 4, 2020

Dolly Parton Posts Final Bedtime Reading Episode

Dolly Parton closes her 10-week bedtime reading series with a special finale episode that includes a tribute to the more than 1,700 local organizations that offer her Imagination Library to the children in their community. Since its inception in 1995, the Imagination Library has gifted more than 138 million books through its local affiliates to preschool children. The library currently gifts books to 1.6 million children around the world each month.

“The local affiliates are the heart and soul of the Imagination Library,” said Parton. “They work hard every day to raise the funds to make sure the books remain free to all of the children enrolled in the program.”

The series began on April 2, 2020, with a reading of The Little Engine that Could and will conclude June 4. The series has been viewed more than 15 million times on YouTube, Facebook and other popular social media platforms.

The finale episode features Pass It On written and illustrated by Sophy Henn. This book was specifically selected to end the series because it encourages all children and adults to share their joy, their happiness and their kindness with others.

“I am thrilled this series has meant so much to so many families across the world,” Parton continued. “I hope our finale episode featuring Pass It On will be another way for us to transform this moment of hardship into more love and more kindness.”

The finale concludes with the re-release of the trailer for the documentary “The Library That Dolly Built.” The film was scheduled for a nationwide release on April 2, 2020, but was postponed because of the spread of COVID-19. The film will be released in late September 2020.

The Library That Dolly Built, directed and produced by journalism professor and director of Land Grant Films Nick Geidner, and narrated by Danica McKellar, goes behind-the-scenes of Dolly Parton’s literacy-focused non-profit, Imagination Library, to show how one of the most famous and beloved performers in the world has developed an efficient and effective program for spreading the love of reading.

The Imagination Library started as a gift for the children in Dolly’s hometown, Sevierville, Tennessee, and is now active in all 50 states, and five countries, gifting more than 1.6 million free, age-appropriate books to children every month. The film also provides a glimpse of the profound impact the Imagination Library has on people through original interviews with authors, policymakers, Imagination Library staff, recipients, and the legend herself, Dolly Parton. Woven throughout the film is a biographical sketch of Dolly Parton, featuring rare photos and films from her childhood. Unlike many biographies of Dolly, it doesn’t focus on her music. Instead it demonstrates that at every point in her career, any time she has had success, Dolly Parton has come back to Sevierville to give back to her people.