Parton marked the occasion with an in person visit to Wilmington Public Library.
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Dolly Parton Arms Wide Open
Credit: Rick Kern / Contributor/Getty

Parton visited Delaware's Wilmington Public Library to celebrate the continued growth of her Imagination Library program in Delaware—and elsewhere. To help mark the occasion, the philanthropist treated the crowd to a few songs, including "Coat of Many Colors" and "Try," which Parton wrote after repeated readings of her favorite children's book, The Little Engine That Could.

Parton's Imagination Library has been mailing free books to children from birth to age 5 for almost a quarter of a century. Since the program launched in 1995, Parton has bas been giving out books to children first near her home in East Tennessee but quickly expanding to other states and then other countries. Now, the Imagination Library gives away nearly two million books per month and is quickly approaching the impressive milestone of giving away a whopping 200 million books in total.

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While Parton is well known for her many philanthropic acts–including partially funding the Moderna coronavirus vaccine—the reading program is near and dear to Parton's heart as it was inspired by her own father who struggled to read and write. "This one is so personal to me, I have to say, this means more to me than almost anything in my whole career," Parton said in an interview with WHYY. "I'm just so proud of how it's come along through the years and we're just doing wonderful things with it."