Dolly Parton waves at 2019 Grammys

FILE - Dolly Parton arrives at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning legend's 1980's hit "9 to 5" has been flipped by Squarespace, the company that helps users build and host their own websites, for a Super Bowl commercial debuting Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. Oscar winner Damien Chazelle of "La La Land" fame directed the spot. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Senate voted Tuesday to establish Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library book gifting program statewide. The legislation now heads to the House for a vote.

With the goal of inspiring a love of reading, the voluntary program gives books each month to children from infancy to 5 years old, free of charge to families, through funding that will be shared by Parton, Kentucky’s state government and community partners.

Democratic Sen. Morgan McGarvey said the bill “codifies that program and establishes the fund for the General Assembly to make future appropriations.”

The bill, he added, would give Kentucky children access to a program that would help prepare them for academic success.

“We know the benefits of getting books in the hands of children: They improve literacy rates, they improve kindergarten readiness,” McGarvey said.

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