COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Governor Mike DeWine is celebrating the arrival of music legend and philanthropist Dolly Parton with her very own honorary holiday.

On Tuesday, August 9, Dolly Parton will visit Columbus to celebrate early literacy and the success of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio. On Monday, DeWine declared August 9 to be honorary Dolly Parton Day in Ohio.

The Imagination Library is a Tennesee-based program, but it has spread nationwide. According to the release, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio currently mails more than 327,000 Ohio children a free, age-appropriate book every month for the first five years of their lives.

Fran DeWine was inspired to launch this program after meeting Parton in Cleveland more than five years ago, our affiliate WLWT said. Parton spoke about how the Imagination Library was helping children in Tennessee to read, and DeWine knew she wanted to give Ohio children the same opportunity.

The Ohio segment of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library launched in March of 2020 and quickly gathered an enthusiastic response.

In December of 2021, 43 percent of Ohio children five and under, or 301,457 kids, were enrolled in the program, making Ohio the state with the highest percentage of kids enrolled in the U.S..

If you are interested in enrolling your child in the Ohio Imagination Library, click here to sign up.

“No matter what time the kids, how old the kids are when they start the Imagination Library, the very first book they get is ‘The Little Engine That Could’,” Fran DeWine said in November. “That’s Dolly Parton’s favorite.”