Country music icon Dolly Parton visits Delaware for Imagination Library celebration

Her visit was part of a statewide celebration of her Imagination Library.
WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Country music icon Dolly Parton visited the Wilmington Public Library on Thursday to celebrate the statewide rollout of her passion project: Dolly's Imagination Library.

The country music icon's book-gifting program mails children from birth to 5 years old a free book each month to inspire a love of reading.

Decked from head to toe, to guitar, in multicolored rhinestones, Parton sang her hit 'Coat of Many Colors,' and signed a copy of her children's book of the same name.

"It's about putting books in the hands of children, where they can learn to love to read," she said.

Parton created the program in 1995 in honor of her father.

"My dad didn't get a chance to go to school," Parton said. "He couldn't read or write, as so many people in the mountains didn't get to. My dad was always bothered by that. I love my daddy, and I was bothered by the fact that he was bothered with it."

Through her program, every child from birth to five years old, gets a free book in the mail each month.

Governor John Carney and first lady Tracey Quillen Carney were in attendance for the event.

"It's so special for kids to get a book with their name on it," says Delaware First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney. "That's the thing I underestimated. I forgot, as a kid, how fun it was to get something in the mail."

Families can sign up for the Imagination Library on Delaware Libraries' website.

The event will be livestreamed on YouTube.

The visit to the First State comes a day after it was announced that Parton would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year.

She had initially declined the nomination, saying she had not yet earned the right.

Parton tweeted Wednesday that she would accept it gracefully and that she was honored and humbled.

"I never thought of myself as a rock star," Parton said. "People used to say to me, 'You're a rock star' or 'You rock.' I just thought they were bragging on me like I was cool or something. But now, they are putting me in the Hall of Fame. That's a great honor. I didn't expect that."

Other Hall of Fame inductees include Eminem, Duran Duran, the Eurythmics, Carly Simon, Lionel Richie, Pat Benatar and Judas Priest.
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