and other amazing stories

By Norman Warwick

Dolly Parton posted an open letter to the press. It revealed something of the state of the world and a great deal about Dolly Parton and her good heart. Her attractive good looks catch our eye of course, her music takes us to other places and she is a great songwriter, successful film artist, theme park owner, entrepreneur, fund-raiser and covid-fighter and children´s education and activist. She has taken sidetracks & detours like a butterfly with wings of many colours, so come follow you art, beyond 9 to 5 drudgery and follow her through the Imagination Library.

PHOTO 1 IMAGINATION LIBRARY ‘Before he passed away, my Daddy told me the Imagination Library was probably the most important thing I had ever done. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me because I created the Imagination Library as a tribute to my Daddy. He was the smartest man I have ever known but I know in my heart his inability to read probably kept him from fulfilling all of his dreams.

Inspiring kids to love to read became my mission. In the beginning, my hope was simply to inspire the children in my home county but here we are today with a worldwide program that gives a book a month to well over 1 million children.

Of course, I have not done this alone. The real heroes of our story are the thousands of local organizations who have embraced my dream and made it their own. They raise millions of dollars each year and wake up every day with a passion to make sure their kids have every opportunity to succeed.

It’s been quite a journey but we have so much more left to do. I would love for your community to join our family so please take the time to explore our website. Let’s share this dream that all children should grow up in a home full of books.

The first step is always the hardest, but you’ll never know unless you try…’

Thus read Dolly´s eloquent and impassioned open letter to the press and one of the thousands of local organisations to have embraced Dolly’s dream was the Springfield organisation, for reasons they explain below.

We’ve joined with Dolly Parton’s  Imagination Library, a book-gifting program that mails free books to children from birth to age five.

When you register, your child gets a free book delivered to your home EVERY MONTH. Each child in your household can register, and they will each receive their own book, each month.

In 1995, Dolly Parton launched this exciting new effort, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee, USA. Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month.

Now this vision is spreading across the globe!

Click here to visit the Dolly Parton Imagination Library website!

Springfield Young Readers is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Our EIN is 82-4113155

The mission of Springfield Young Readers is bring books into the homes of young children in the Springfield community to inspire a life-long love of reading, foster strong early literacy skills, and nurture positive family interactions. 

It was thanks to collaboration and support such as this that, after launching in 1995, The Dolly Parton Imagination Library grew so quickly. At First books were only distributed to children living in Sevier County, Tennessee where Dolly grew up. It became such a success that in 2000 a national replication effort was underway. By 2003, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library had mailed one million books. It would prove to be the first of many millions of books sent to children around the world.

Dolly’s home state of Tennessee pledged to pursue statewide coverage in 2004 and global expansion was on the horizon. After the United States, the program launched in Canada in 2006 followed by the United Kingdom in 2007, Australia in 2013 and the Republic of Ireland in 2019.

And after all that, in 2020, Dolly Parton, legendary performer, feminist idol. became a coronavirus vaccine sponsor.

PHOTO 4 The diminutive diva’s $1 million donation to Covid-19 research was partly used to fund Moderna’s promising Covid-19 vaccine — something she didn’t even knowuntil her name appeared among other sponsors in a preliminary report on the vaccine. In subsequent media appearances Dolly was beaming with pride and excitement at the news/

‘Praise the lord!’ she told “Today” hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager. “I’m just very grateful that this is happening, and if I had anything to do with it, that’s great.”

Parton, who said she’d found out her donation contributed to the vaccine trial on Tuesday morning, told BBC’s The One Show she felt ‘very honored and very proud’  to be a small piece of what could be an essential treatment for Covid-19.

‘I just felt so proud to have been part of that little seed money that will hopefully grow into something great and help to heal this world,’  she said. ‘ I’m a very proud girl today to know I had anything at all to do with something that’s going to help us through this crazy pandemic’.

Parton first donated to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Covid-19 research efforts in early April, when there were around 200,000 cases of Covid-19 in the US. Now, there are over 11.3 million cases, and nearly 250,000 Americans have died.

The Moderna vaccine is thought to be 94.5% effective against coronavirus, according to early data released by the company. Vaccinations could begin as soon as late December, top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said, though they’ll be made available first to high-risk groups like health care workers, the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions.

In April, 2021 Parton encouraged her fans who could afford it to donate to the Vanderbilt Health Covid-19 research fund. Since then, it’s raised more than $100,000 of its $250,000 goal.

Now Dolly, globally successful entertainer, movie star, founder of a literary initiative, then heroic sponsor of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine, is to become a published novelist.  As we have witnessed for decades there seem to be few things  Dolly Parton seems can’t do.

The singer, best known for country-pop hits including Jolene and 9 to 5, has written her first novel, to be published by Penguin Random House in 2022. Run, Rose, Run, which is about a young woman who moves to Nashville to pursue her music-making dreams, has been co-written by Parton and bestselling novelist James Patterson. Both UK and US editions will be published on 7 March 2022.

Run, Rose, Run by Dolly Parton and James Patterson Photograph: Penguin Random House

Parton will release an album of the same name alongside the book, consisting of 12 original tracks. She says the new songs ´were written based on the characters and situations in the book´ and their lyrics will also feature in the novel.

´It’s been an honour – and a hell of a lot of fun – to work with the inimitable Dolly Parton´, said Patterson, who has sold more than 300 million books and has collaborated with other writers on scores of novels including Bill Clinton on 2018’s The President Is Missing.

´The mind-blowing thing about this project is that reading the novel is enhanced by listening to the album and vice versa. It’s a really unique experience.´

While fiction is a new venture for Parton, she has written several memoirs in the past, most recently Songteller: My Life in Lyrics.

And we should never overlook the fact, after finding time to record scores of albums, star in several films, run Dollywood, generate a vaccine in tiome of crisis, look after her literary foundation and now write a novel, she has somehow also found time to write a catalogue (of both quantity and quality) of some of the best songs of all time

Dolly Parton works 9 to 5? Don´t believe her. That´s just fiction. She works 24/ 7 / 365

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