Dolly Parton visits Charleston to celebrate statewide reach of her Imagination Library

Entertainment legend Dolly Parton performs Tuesday night at the Clay Center for Arts and...
Entertainment legend Dolly Parton performs Tuesday night at the Clay Center for Arts and Sciences in Charleston, West Virginia, during a celebration for the statewide success of her Imagination Library in the Mountain State.
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 9:52 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Entertainment legend Dolly Parton made stops Tuesday in our region, including in West Virginia’s capital city, in the spirit of promoting literacy.

The acclaimed singer/songwriter/actress/entrepreneur was in Charleston as part of a celebration of her Dolly Parton Imagination Library spreading to all 55 counties in the Mountain State.

Earlier in the day, she visited Columbus, Ohio, for a similar event.

The book-gifting program helps spread books to children 5 and younger free of charge and was created in the memory of Parton’s father, who was unable to read and write.

“I am thrilled to share and celebrate that every child from birth to five in West Virginia is eligible to register for my Imagination Library,” Parton said in a news release. “Together, we can inspire children to dream more, care more, learn more and be more.”

The showbiz legend was joined at the Charleston event, held at the Clay Center for Arts and Sciences, by Gov. Jim Justice and Marshall University President Brad D. Smith, among others.

Justice proclaimed Aug. 9 as Dolly Parton Imagination Library Day during the event.

West Virginia is one of 11 states in the United States to boast full participation. It has resulted in more than 3 million books delivered to children in the state since 2007.

As part of the event, Parton presented Marshall University’s June Harless Center with an oversized copy of her book, “Coat of Many Colors.”

The evening wrapped up with Parton singing her signature “Coat of Many Colors” and “Try.”

The West Virginia Department of Education gave Parton a hand-crafted wooden statue emblazoned with the Imagination Library seal created by students from the Nicholas County Technical Center.

Families in West Virginia may register for the Imagination Library by tapping here.

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