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Dolly Parton Teams Up with California to Give Kids Free Books Across the State

California kids will soon have access to free books thanks to Dolly Parton, her Imagination Library and the state’s lawmakers.

Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed SB 1183, a bill which received bipartisan support to extend Dolly’s famous book-gifting program to the state so children under the age of five can receive a free book each month, starting in June 2023. California is now the 15th state to implement Dolly’s program.

“We know the most significant brain growth occurs from birth to five years old and that exposing children to books early in life can boost brain development and improve their overall health and wellbeing all while cultivating a love of reading and literature,” First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom shares in a video message, highlighting how many families cannot bear the financial burden of buying books regularly themselves.


“Over 2.4 million young children in California are eligible to have free books mailed to their homes each month. That is millions of more books in the hands of California families.”

Dolly began her Imagination Library back in 1995 in Tennessee where she grew up. It now reaches children across America, Canada, Australia, the UK and Ireland. To date, the program has gifted over 190 million books!

As Dolly says, “you can never get enough books into the hands of enough children.”

(Feature Image Credit: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock)

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