PIGEON FORGE, TN (Tuesday, March 31, 2020) --- Dollywood and Abramorama, in association with The Dollywood Foundation, announced that Dolly Parton will read select children’s books from her Imagination Library each Thursday evening beginning on Thursday, April 2, at 7 p.m. EST. For the next 10 weeks, “Goodnight With Dolly” will feature Parton reading books that have been specifically chosen for their appropriate content at this unique time.
Additionally, the Imagination Library documentary that was scheduled to premiere this week, will now open the week of Sept. 21 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The Library That Dolly Built tells the story of how the Imagination Library has gifted more than 135 million books to children since its inception in 1995. The program—part of The Dollywood Foundation—currently gifts books to 1.5 million children around the world each month.
During each week’s “Goodnight With Dolly,” the entertainment icon—who is better known as The Book Lady to millions of children around the world—welcomes viewers and introduces the title, author and illustrator of the featured book. Snuggled in bed with her Imagination Library book, Parton will read each story in her own signature style.
The books featured in the series include: “There’s a Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake” by Loren Long; “Llama Llama Red Pajama” by Anna Dewdney; “I Am a Rainbow” by Parton; “Pass It On” by Sophy Henn; “Stand Tall, Molly Lou Mellon” by Patty Lovell; “Violet the Pilot” by Steve Breen; “Max & The Tag-Along Moon” by Floyd Cooper; “Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt de la Peña; “Coat of Many Colors” by Parton; and her favorite book, “The Little Engine That Could” by Watty Piper.
The stories will be read across the social channels for the Imagination Library, Dolly Parton’s personal sites, the World Choice Investments family of attractions, and The Dollywood Company. The readings will be Dolly’s personal gift to all families. Her hope is that families will be inspired by her message to pass on love and keep hope alive as we all work together during this time.
“This is something I have been wanting to do for quite a while, but the timing never felt quite right,” she explained. “I think it is pretty clear that now is the time to share a story and to share some love. It is an honor for me to share the incredible talent of these authors and illustrators. They make us smile, they make us laugh and they make us think."
Regarding the film’s release, she adds, “Although it was the right thing to do, postponing the screening of our documentary was a disappointment. So many of our Imagination Library affiliates had organized events around the nationwide screenings; however, things do have a way of working out, so the documentary will still have its day.”
The Library that Dolly Built, directed and produced by Nick Geidner, journalism professor and director of Land Grant Films, and narrated by Danica McKellar, goes behind-the-scenes of the 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.
Dolly Parton’s 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. The film also provides a glimpse of the profound impact the Imagination Library has on the 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 most 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.
About The Dollywood Foundation
The Dollywood Foundation was created in 1988 by Dolly Parton to inspire the children in her home county to achieve educational success. Initial efforts focused on decreasing the dropout rate in the county’s high school. In the early 90’s Dolly promised every 7th-grade and 8th-grade student she would personally give them $500 if they graduated from high school. This effort, called the Buddy Program, reduced the dropout rate for these two classes from 35% to 6%. More importantly, the program catalyzed the community to provide additional resources to sustain this improvement in the dropout rate. In 2016, The Dollywood Foundation led Dolly's efforts to assist families who lost their homes during the devastating wildfires which swept through her home county. The Foundation's My People Fund distributed more than $12,000,000 in direct assistance to more than 900 families in Sevier County. For more information, visit dollywoodfoundation.org.