The bill, SB 1183, was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom.
Millions of children in California will be able to get free books thanks to Dolly Parton. The bill, SB 1183, which was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom will help fund Parton’s Imagination Library program. The country legend's Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free books to children from birth until they begin school in participating areas. Now, thanks to the law, in California free books will be sent directly to the child’s home at no cost to their family starting in June 2023, reports KTLA. Each child will get one free book per month until the age of 5. As a first, a bilingual option will also be part of the program.
Good News Alert:— Goodable (@Goodable) October 9, 2022
Dolly Parton is partnering with state of California to provide all children in the state under the age of five with a free book every month.
The bill, partnering with Dolly's Imagination Library, received bipartisan support and will go into effect next year. pic.twitter.com/kx1WEHh6DL
“Today marks a significant day, the beginning of a magnificent statewide program which will put books in the hands of California children at a young age, opening the door to the limitless possibility for their future,” said Sen. Shannon Grove, co-author of the bill. “Growing up with very little money in southwest Virginia, my parents taught me that books were my ticket to see the world,” added Sen. Toni Atkins, co-author of the bill. “A deep love of reading and learning is the greatest gift they ever gave me — it is so special to be able to pass that on to children across California. And, to be able to do so in partnership with my friend, Senator Grove, and my country music idol, Dolly Parton, is just icing on the cake.”
If you'd like to sign up for free books for your kids ages birth to 5 years old & see if it is available in your state you can go to this link here.— 𝙶𝚎𝚖™💎🏳️🌈🧙🏻♀️ (@Lady_Star_Gem) October 7, 2022
Currently the program is only available in 14 states & 5 countries.
Dolly has provided 186 million books.https://t.co/krL2eHFVbP
Parton, who likes to be known as "the Book Lady" first started the program in 1995 for the kids of her home county in Tennessee. Now it spans across 14 states and five countries, donating over 186 million books. When the Imagination Library delivered its 100 millionth book in 2018, the 76-year-old told NPR, "We never thought it would be this big," she shared. "I just wanted to do something great for my dad and for my home county and, at the most, maybe a couple of counties over. But then it just took wings of its own, and I guess it was meant to be." She continued, "My dad didn't get the chance to go to school. And Daddy couldn't read and write, and that was kind of crippling to him, He was such a smart man, though. He just had such good common sense. They call it horse sense in the country. But Daddy thought it was just something he couldn't learn after he was grown, so he never tried to learn to read and write. And that was just kind of embarrassing to him," she continued. "But I didn't want Daddy to feel embarrassed." That's how she decided to give the children of Sevier County something her father never had. "He got to hear the kids call me 'The Book Lady.' He got a big kick out of that," she said. "But he took great pride and felt like he'd helped do something special." The "Jolene" singer's father was able to see the program take off before he died in 2000.
Great news for California kids & parents. https://t.co/6qNogyHJtJ— Literary Hub (@lithub) October 6, 2022
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Mike Coppola