As an advocate for children’s literacy, Parton has teamed up with Karen Davis, an early childhood education worker from Manitoba’s Ebb and Flow First Nation, to send one book a month to 10,000 First Nations children in 55 of Manitoba First Nations free of charge with the goal to reach all 63 First Nations.
“This is a tremendous gift from Dolly, and it goes without saying that she is in touch with what is important in life – family, children and education,” the National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, Betty Ann Lavallee, said in a statement. “Thank you so much for recognizing our Aboriginal children and helping to foster learning, which leads to raising the level of confidence, dignity and self-worth of our Aboriginal youth in Canada.”
The program works on a five-year plan to introduce early childhood books to newborns up the point they enter Kindergarten. The books include a personalized letter from Dolly.
The first book will be hitting mailboxes in six weeks, and the books are also for the kids to keep.
“I want every child in a First Nation to start school with the enthusiasm where they can say, ‘I can read,’” said Davis.