Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and the state’s Lt. Governor Jon Husted officially declared today ‘Dolly Parton Day.‘
The 76-year-old country singer, actress, and philanthropist earned the recognition for instilling “a love of reading among the children of Sevier County, Tennessee, where she grew up,” as well as in “all 88 counties [of Ohio]” through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, according to the proclamation.
“We are excited to welcome @DollyParton and @dollyslibrary to Ohio tomorrow to celebrate the success of @ImaginationOhio!” Governor DeWine wrote on Twitter.
The philanthropic library book venture, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, was launched in 1995 in Parton’s home state and was met with wild success. Over the years, the project expanded greatly, and now, the free age-appropriate monthly book subscription service for children is available to families across the globe.
“Since its formation, the program has provided more than 184 million books to children,” located in various parts of the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, according to the governor’s recent announcement.
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“More Ohio children are receiving the Imagination Library books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program than in any other state,” said First Lady Fran DeWine in a press release.
Ohio state officials also cited Parton’s participation in the Ohio State Fair and her upcoming induction into the Cleveland Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this fall as further justification for the distinction.
To celebrate the success of her library program and newfound honors, the award-winning singer and Ohio’s first lady, Fran DeWine, met in the city of Columbus for the First Annual First Lady’s Luncheon on August 9.
The event was available via livestream Tuesday afternoon, but those who missed it can still stream a recorded version on the Ohio Imagination Library site.