Dolly-dolly-parton-29453660-965-1280Country music superstar Dolly Parton is opening the door to lifelong learning for Manitoba’s First Nations children one book at a time as part of her literacy foundation, Dolly’s Imagination Library.

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.