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Dolly Parton says her father is “the main reason” she began her children’s book programme.

Dolly Parton founded her book charity for her dad

Dolly Parton founded her book charity for her dad

The ‘9 to 5’ hitmaker – who founded the Imagination Library, a scheme that sends kids one book a month from birth until they begin school – was motivated to do the work bringing the charity to ease her father feeling “crippled” about not being able to read or write.

On Friday (11.03.22), the 79-year-old country sensation told RTE’s ‘Late Late Show’ host Ryan Tubridy on: “My dad, even though he could not read nor write, he was one of the smartest people I have ever known. He had twelve kids so he had to figure out how to feed them. He knew how to get out and make a buck.

“He felt crippled by the fact that he couldn’t read and write. It used to break my heart that he felt ashamed that he couldn’t read or write.

“I told Daddy, ‘You’d be shocked to know how many millions of people in this world can’t read or write’. I tried to make him feel as good about that as I could.

The Grammy winner got her father Robert Parton – who died in 2000, aged 79, five years after the project was founded – “involved” with the work.

She said: “And I got him involved when I started it, that’s the main reason I started it.”

Dolly – who appeared on the talk show via video link from Nashville- was joined by the author James Patterson – who collaborated with the ‘Here You Come Again’ hitmaker on the new book ‘Run Rose Run’ – who claimed that literacy “saves lives”.

The 74-year-old writer told Ryan: “It saves lives, it literally saves lives, especially in this country. A lot of kids would not wind up in jail if they could have learned to read and gotten through high school.”

James explained that he teamed up with Dolly because they both understood growing up poor neighbourhoods and having “the odds against us”.

He said: “I just had a rough idea for a novel about somebody who makes it big. You could have all the talent in the world and not make it. Dolly and I both came from tough towns and villages and the odds against us were huge.”

Post source: Female First

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