United Way of Northern Arizona — The Most Important Thing She’s Ever Done

| December 8, 2020
Dolly Parton, simply put, is a legend. An icon. A cultural touchstone. She’s had phenomenal commercial and critical success. She’s earned an “EGOT,” winning an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. Her career spans a half century and she’s still going strong. Not bad for a kid born in a one-room cabin in the mountains of east Tennessee.
But before he passed away, her father told her that probably the most important thing she’s ever done was to start her “Imagination Library.”
“Now I can’t tell you how much that meant to me because I created the Imagination Library as a tribute to my Daddy,” she says. “He was the smartest man I’ve ever known, but I knew in my heart, his inability to read probably kept him from seeing all his dreams come true. Inspiring kids to love to read became my mission.”
It’s a mission that the United Way of Northern Arizona shares. That’s why we partner with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and provide age-appropriate books to more than 1,400 children every month in Coconino, Navajo and Apache counties.
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
When she started 25 years ago, Dolly’s ambition was just to improve literacy in her home county. The program took off, however, and now delivers almost 1.5 million books every month to children from birth to age 5.
Why that age group? Because fostering a love of reading starts far earlier than when children begin to learn their ABC’s.
It starts when a parent or caregiver takes a baby onto their lap, opens a book and tells them a story. It grows when those children are old enough to explore books on their own and enjoy the pictures, even if the words don’t have much meaning yet. Then is soars when they discover that books can feed their imaginations and fuel their dreams.
You have told us that supporting early childhood education and building the foundations for successful and resilient youth is important to you. The Imagination Library is an important part of this work and that’s why we need your help.
If you can, please consider a donation to our local Dolly Parton Imagination Library initiative. Our goal is to raise $10,000 between now and Dec. 9, when the world premier of “The Library that Dolly Built” steams on Facebook.
Your donation means we can continue to provide books to those families who don’t have the resources to create a “little library” for their kids. It ensures that more parents will read to their children. Most importantly, it will impact our communities, as these children grow up and become our future workers, parents and local leaders.
Please give today by clicking the button below. We bet that Dolly’s Daddy would approve.
1515 E. Cedar Ave. Suite D-1 Flagstaff, AZ 86004
928-773-9813 nazunitedway.org

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Category: Education, Programs, Resources

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