a real difference
Nick Houslip says "I thought you might be interested in this
story from my friends in the US. It's a nice story . . "
Dolly Parton performs Jolene at Glastonbury. Video
Dolly Rebecca Parton was born on 19th January 1946.
1990, the high school drop out rate for Dolly Parton's hometown
of Sevierville Tennessee was at 34% - research shows that most
kids make up their minds in fifth/sixth grade not to graduate.
That year, all fifth and sixth graders from Sevierville were
invited by Parton to attend an assembly at Dollywood. They were
asked to pick a buddy, and if both students completed high school,
Dolly Parton would personally hand them each a US$500 check
on their graduation day. As a result, the drop out rate for
those classes fell to 6%, and has generally retained that average
to this day.
Shortly after the success of The Buddy Program, Parton learned
in dealing with teachers from the school district that problems
in education often begin during first grade when kids are at
different developmental levels. That year The Dollywood Foundation
paid the salaries for additional teachers assistants in every
first grade class for the next 2 years, under the agreement
that if the program worked, the school system would effectively
adopt and fund the program after the trial period.
During the same period, Parton founded the Imagination Library
in 1995: The idea being that children from her rural hometown
and low income families often start school at a disadvantage
and as a result, will be unfairly compared to their peers for
the rest of their lives, effectively encouraging them not to
pursue higher education. The objective of the Imagination library
was that every child in Sevier County would receive one book,
every month, mailed and addressed to the child, from the day
they were born until the day they started kindergarten, 100%
free of charge. What began as a hometown initiative now serves
children in all 50 states, Australia, Canada, and the United
Kingdom, mailing thousands of free books to children around
the world monthly.
On 1st March
2018 Parton donated her 100 millionth book at the Library of
Congress: a copy of "Coat of Many Colors" dedicated
to her father, who never learned to read or write.
Birthday Dolly Parton!