CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — Dolly Parton recently came to the Clay Center in Charleston where people had the opportunity to spend an “Evening with Dolly.”

She was there to promote the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, sing some of her classic hits, and tell stories about her life.     

Tarabeth Heineman, the Executive Director for the June Harless Center at Marshall University, said Dolly Parton would come visit the Mountain state only if they reached their goal of providing the Imagination Library opportunity to every child in the state, which they did and it ended up being a magical evening.  

“We’ve reached that goal and she made great on her promise, and it was just an outstanding evening celebrating literacy development and you know, growing up great readers and leaders for our state,” said Heineman.

Heineman also added that, “the event last night was really to spread awareness and share with families who have children under the age of 5 that are eligible and they can go and register their child to participate in Imagination Library, and what is so meaningful for this program is that any child under the age of 5 can receive a book that’s delivered to the home each month, specialized with the child’s name, and over the course of 5 years, they could build up to 60 books in their home library. And there’s a lot of research out there that says if we can get books into the hands of children at an early age, they’re going to be ready and more prepared to enter school and be excited for learning. So, this can have dramatic implications for our state and focus on creating a love of literacy.”

There are about 94,000 children who are eligible for Dolly’s Imagination Library in West Virginia and out of that 94,000 there is about 50 percent of participation.