An inside look at how Dolly Parton helped kids in Dayton, elsewhere learn to read

Credit: Andrew Harnik

Credit: Andrew Harnik

Thousands of children across the Miami Valley have learned to read with Dolly Parton’s help.

A new documentary streaming tonight, Wednesday Dec. 9, called “The Library That Dolly Built,” is a behind-the-scenes look at the country-music queen’s Imagination Library.

The program, founded in 1995 to encourage reading to preschool children, has mailed 150 million books to kids age 5 and younger. Nearly 2 million children worldwide receive free monthly books from the foundation.

The Montgomery County Imagination Library launched a year ago. Since then, nearly 11,000 children have signed up for the program, according to Montgomery County Commissioner Carolyn Rice.

“If you want something to bring you warm and fuzzies to your heart, you need to watch this documentary,” Rice said.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The documentary live-stream screening will premiere on Facebook at 7 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, Dec. 9. Parton will speak and also will perform music afterward.

“I am so excited that we can finally tell the whole story of the Imagination Library,” Parton said in a release. “It is certainly not just about me. Our story is the story of children, of families, and communities who all share the dream to inspire kids to love to read and to love to learn.

“My hope is this documentary will encourage more towns, more states, and even more countries to jump on board. One thing is for sure: I think this is the best investment I have ever made!”

For more information about the film, visit

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