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Dolly Parton’s book program shines with over 187 million books donated | USA TODAY

Since the start of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program in Ohio, more than 187 million books have gone to children around the world.

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Parton launched Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in 1995 by sending free books to children in Sevier County, Tennessee, where she was born and raised. She started the program to honor her father, Robert “Lee” Parton, who died in 2000.

“Daddy didn’t get a chance to read and write and he was always kind of embarrassed by that,” Parton said. “I just always felt my heart was always heavy that my Daddy felt like there was something he couldn’t do, because we thought he could do anything.”

Now, those free books are available for children ages 5 and younger across the world – including every county in Ohio.

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