Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) is launching in the Tamworth region with a Dolly tribute concert during the country music festival.
The concert will be held on Sunday, 20 January at the Capitol Theatre and will feature an array of Dolly’s award-winning songs performed by Australian country music stars, Kirsty Lee Akers, Aleyce Simmonds and guests. Dolly Parton will also feature through a special video message which she has recorded for the occasion.
The concert will be the official launch of the childhood literacy program in Tamworth and will also celebrate the partnership between Tamworth Regional Council and the country superstar whose Dollywood Foundation has developed the reading program in as number of countries around the world.
With the help of United Way Australia, which administers the DPIL program in Australia on behalf of the Dollywood Foundation, every child born in the Tamworth Regional Council local government area will receive a free book every month from this January.
“As the country music capital of Australia, it seems only fitting to feature a tribute performance for Dolly during festival to officially launch this important initiative which has as its core foundation, the growth and development of reading skills,” Tamworth mayor Col Murray said.
Golden Guitar winning duo Mark and Jay O’Shea – who are based in Nashville – have played a leading role in introducing the project to Tamworth.
“To be given a book per month for the first five years of a child’s life is life-changing,” the pair said.
“We’re so excited for the Tamworth community. This is going to be a big game changer for Tamworth.”
DPIL will provide all children with access to their own library of literary resources from an early age to assist them in developing competent reading and comprehension skills before they start school.
DPIL mails free age appropriate and culturally sensitive books to children registered in the program from birth to the age of five.
All children born in 2019 and living within the Tamworth Regional Council LGA will be eligible to access the program. Parents and carers will only have to complete a short registration form available from all Tamworth regional libraries.
The launch and concert will be held on January 20 at The Capitol Theatre and all proceeds from the show will go to the DPIL Tamworth project.