Dolly Parton Meets Little Girl From Florida Who Learned To Read Braille Thanks To The Imagination Library

There’s no doubt that Dolly Parton’s charity, Imagination Library, changes lives by giving away free books to kids from the ages of 0 to 5, but seeing the proof in the life of a small child is always incredible. Parton was a guest on a recent episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show and she got to hear from a mom whose daughter benefited from the Imagination Library in a very special way.

On the show, Parton met an audience member named Liz who shared a touching story about the impact that Imagination Library had on her daughter. Six years ago, Liz and her husband adopted a little girl named Rosie who was dealing with multiple health issues and was born blind. Doctors were unsure whether the little girl would walk or talk or even survive. Her devoted parents helped her find a love of music, but she reportedly really bloomed when she began receiving books from the Imagination Library that were written in braille.

Dolly Parton on Kelly Clarkson Show

NBC / Contributor/Getty Images

"Today our daughter's 6 years old, she's in the first grade. ... She was reading and writing braille before most children read and write print," Liz said. "And her teachers tell us she may be gifted."

Clarkson then invited the little girl on stage to meet Parton, who introduced herself as “the book lady.” Rosie then asked Parton and Clarkson to sing one of her favorite songs, "Amazing Grace" for her. Then, Parton, Clarkson, and Rosie sang another favorite, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight".


Rosie’s mom noted that her daughter may be blind, but “she's going to see the world through the love and the generosity of people like you, Dolly, who stand in all those gaps that we have. Our family is so grateful for you." Rosie’s life isn’t the only one touched by the Imagination Library, of course. Founded in 1995 as a tribute to her father who couldn't read, Parton's charity has been mailing free books to children ever since. They have now shipped over 200 million books to kids. "If I'm remembered 100 years from now,” Parton once famously said. “I hope it will be not for looks but for books.”

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles