Dolly Parton honored with MusiCares’ Person of the Year award for work with Imagination Library

FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2017 file photo, Dolly Parton arrives at the 69th Primetime Emmy...
FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2017 file photo, Dolly Parton arrives at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards Variety and Women in Film pre-Emmy celebration in Los Angeles. Parton will be honored at the 2019 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute event next year. The Recording Academy announced Tuesday that Parton will be the first artist from the Nashville music community honored at the annual MusiCares charity gala, which raises money for those in the musical community in times of financial, medical and personal need. The tribute will be held in Los Angeles on Feb. 8. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)(Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Updated: Feb. 11, 2019 at 2:04 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library continues to thrive in WAVE Country and around the world.

On Friday, ahead on the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, Parton was honored as MusiCares’ Person of the Year for her efforts in providing children all over the world with free books, with her program Imagination Library.

“I wanted to thank you for this night,” said Parton. “I truly am honored to be the MusiCares’ Person of the Year. And, the first country music artist to be honored. That’s a great honor!”

Taking place each year during GRAMMY Week, the benefit gala continues to grow in size and stature, while the theme remains the same, to honor a recording artist who has made important contributions to the world of music and demonstrated extraordinary humanitarian and philanthropic efforts.

Parton, who started Imagination Library in 1995, fit the bill.

“I want to be known more for books, than looks in my life! I really think that that’s great,” said Parton.

Some may think the story behind the start of Imagination Library was a big one, but it’s simple.

“I started that program because of my dad who could not read nor write,” explained Parton. “But he was one of the smartest people because of that. But, it was kind of crippling to him. I’ve often wondered what my daddy might of been if he had been able to read and write.”

This is an example of some of the books Imagination Library mails to kids. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
This is an example of some of the books Imagination Library mails to kids. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

A small spark was lit in Parton, and once that spark was lit, it never went out.

“When I started it (Imagination Library), I thought it was going to just be in our home county, maybe a couple of counties over," Parton said. "But, it turned out that we took it all over Tennessee and it went on into Canada, and now we’re all over different parts of the world.”

And all over the world they went.

Families of children who live in certain zip codes in Louisville can sign up their child from birth to the age of five to receive a free book in the mail every single month. Those zip codes include: 40202, 40203, 40208, 40209, 40210, 40211, 40212, and 40215.

Imagination Library is also available in Floyd, Harrison, Scott and Washington Counties in Indiana and Hardin, Nelson, Marion, Washington and Carroll Counties in Kentucky. To sign up in any of these areas, click or tap here.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library his given over 100 million books to children worldwide. As part of that honor, Parton’s own Coat of Many Colors was put into the Library of Congress.

“It was like momma was there too," said Parton. "It was a little story, a true story, a little coat that momma made for me, so I really felt like I truly got to honor my mother and father. "

Established by the Recording Academy in 1989, the MusiCares Foundation was designed to provide a safety net for music people in times of need, including resources and services covering a wide range of financial, medical, and personal emergencies. The Foundation provides resources and services that covers a wide range of issues, including financial, medical, and personal emergencies.

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