Friday, November 13, 2009

"Dolly Partner is My Friend"

My sister-in-law Jenny turned me on to "Dolly Parton's Imagination Library" sometime back while Ava was 2. It is something Dolly started years ago in a few cities to guarantee that kids had books to read. Not just hand-me-down books, but brand new hard-back books with their names on them. The idea took off, and now different charity organizations throughout many states can raise a percentage of the cost for the books and provide this to the kids in their area. The charity organization that provides it for us is The Junior League of Birmingham. I signed Archer up when he was born, and he started getting books in the mail about 6 weeks later. They get 1 book each every month until they turn 5. That's adds up to a lot of books...approximately 48 books a piece!

Here is an example of the letter
that came with Ava and Archer's first book.

I said all of that to say this, Ava has been getting books in the mail for as long as she can remember! I told her that a nice lady named Dolly Parton wanted her to have books to read. So, now she always wants to know when she will be getting another book from her friend Dolly Partner. She insists that Dolly's last name is Partner. She always asks me when is she going to get to meet her and where does she live.

A few weeks ago she told me when she grows up she wants to be a "mail lady" and deliver books with Dolly Partner. In her little mind, Dolly personally puts each book in her mailbox. I guess I am lucky to have such a philanthropist for a daughter!

Last night we were watching The Jay Leno Show because Dolly Parton was going to be on. Before she came on, Ava asked me what she looked like. I told her she has blonde hair just like her, and she is kinda short. Ava said, "If she's short, then how can she reach to put my books in the mailbox?"

Here is a picture of some examples of the books they receive. The first book that comes to them in the mail is The Little Engine that Could, and their last book is Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come. The selection changes from year to year, so Archer isn't getting the same books that Ava already has.


  1. I saw one of Dolly's posters when J and I honeymooned in the mountains where she grew up. What a great program to encourage literacy! So much more effective than continually meeting with adults and discussing the need for better reading skills. Maybe first ladies could take a lesson from Dolly!

    I told my dad I wanted to be like Dolly when I grew up (I was really young.) He said, "Girl, you got a lot of growing to do..."

  2. Ava is something else! And she wants to meet Dolly really soon so how about arranging that!!!