MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Inspiring the love for reading at an early age, Thursday Governor Kay Ivey announced the launch of a statewide program designed to get more books in the hands of children.

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State dollars will go towards Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.  

The library sends books to children from birth to five years old for free each through funding shared by Dolly Parton and local community partners.

“I love the little kids and that imagination library is probably one of the best things I have ever done I think I will be as proud of that of anything I have ever done I probably be remembered for that as much as anything when I’m gone,” Parton said.

$4.1 million from the gears fund and $1.2 million from the state education trust fund has been invested for the library.

Acting secretary of state department of early childhood education Jane Hume says the goal is to expand the program across the state. 

“So it requires a lot of local partnerships and community partnerships so we’re excited to be able to provide the funding for many local partners to be able to provide the services for families and children,” Hume said.

“Reading proficiency is the most vital life skill there is and we want all of our children to read proficiency,” Ivey said.

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