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Country legend Dolly Parton announced this week that her literacy charity will team up with the United Way of America to double the amount of books the program currently provides.

Parton established the Imagination Library in 1996 as part of her Dollywood Foundation, and it now operates in 566 counties across thirty-six U.S. states, as well as in Canada and England. Her idea was simple: to build an organization that sends one book per month to children from the time of their birth until they enter kindergarten.

“This program is one of the most important ways I know to improve the educational opportunities for children,” said Parton. “When I was growing up in the hills of East Tennessee, I knew my dreams would come true. I know there are children in your community with their own dreams. They dream of becoming a doctor or an inventor or a minister. Who knows, maybe there is a little girl whose dream is to be a writer and singer. The seeds of these dreams are often found in books, and the seeds you plant in your community can grow across the world.”

The new partnership has set a goal of providing free books to one million children each month by 2014.

More information about the program can be found here.

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