So what’s the link between these pictures?
The answer is literacy! Also: yesterday.
Yesterday, I received a Russian translation of The Schmutzy Family from Holiday House. The new edition is for PJ Library, a Jewish book club that sends free books to Jewish kids. For free. The organization has recently branched into Mexico and Russia.
When PJ first started, they got advice and help from Dolly Parton‘s crew at Imagination Library. Dolly started that program in Tennessee to help foster a love of reading with kids and families. The program has since expanded to all over the US and beyond.
And yesterday, I got to see Dolly perform at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Va. I’ve only seen her once before, in Raleigh when some friends took me for my birthday (thank you, friends!) But I have been a Dolly fan for a long time, and here’s why:
When I was covering music for The Roanoke Times, a lot of the country music singers I interviewed didn’t write their own songs. Dolly (who I never got to interview) wrote thousands. Think about that. THOUSANDS. She also plays multiple instruments, acts, writes books, has a head for business and is funny as all get out. Plus: Literacy. Music + Literacy = Love.