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TN lawmakers honor Dolly Parton for her contributions to children's literacy

The resolution calls Dolly "a shining example of the difference one person can make through hard work and compassionate action."

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee lawmakers unanimously passed a resolution honoring Dolly Parton for her contributions to children's literacy.

The resolution calls Dolly "one of Tennessee's most beloved and accomplished daughters, a supremely gifted and multi-talented writer, entertainer, and businesswoman whose compassionate spirit is at the heart of all she does and whose philanthropy has touched the lives of millions around the world."

It recounts her life story, so familiar to many, of being born to humble beginnings in Sevier County but "what her family lacked in financial resources, they made up for with a wealth of love for one another and for music."

Of course, Dolly moved to Nashville after high school graduation and worked on making her dreams come true on the country music stage--- and she did, becoming one of the most successful and popular performers of all time.

But Dolly, unlike many celebrities, never forgot where she came from "and she continues to be a fierce force for good throughout Sevier County and the State of Tennessee."

The resolution outlines her many contributions, including the American Eagle Foundation, the My People fund for wildfire victims, and her donation to fund a COVID-19 vaccine.

But the focus of this resolution is reading: "Perhaps the brightest stars in her shining legacy of philanthropy are the Imagination Library program and her continued efforts to promote children's literacy and education." 

Dolly formed the Dollywood Foundation in 1988 to help decrease the high school dropout rate in Sevier County.

Then she founded the Imagination Library in 1995 to make sure kids had books at home to read---- something that she and many of her classmates lacked growing up.

"Because of the Imagination Library, many know Dolly Parton as "the book lady," as the program provides a new, age-appropriate book each month to preschool children from birth to their fifth birthday; to date, the program has registered 1,788,176 young people and gifted a total of 152,366,795 books to young readers throughout the world."

The resolution says that for five decades, Dolly has brought joy and hope to many people and that she is an inspiration around the world, but especially in East Tennessee.

The resolution finished with: 

"WHEREAS, Ms. Parton's ever-growing legacy is one that lands her firmly among the pantheon of country music greats, but beyond that, she is an exemplar most worthy of emulation—a shining example of the difference one person can make through hard work and compassionate action; now, therefore, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ONE HUNDRED TWELFTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, THE SENATE CONCURRING, that we recognize and honor Dolly Parton for her devoted and compassionate service to her fellow Tennesseans and millions around the world through her cultural contributions and philanthropy, extending our best wishes for continued success and happiness in all her future endeavors."

Governor Bill Lee signed the resolution on Wednesday, posting on Twitter, "Proud to sign this resolution and recognize our TN Treasure Dolly Parton for her contributions to children’s literacy. Since 1995, Dolly has worked far beyond 9 to 5 to distribute 152+ million books to 1.8+ million kids."

He signed it, "Thank you, Dolly! TN will always love you"