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Watch: Dolly Parton visits Tacoma

Country star and pop culture legend Dolly Parton stopped at Tacoma's Pantages Theater Tuesday to celebrate her children's book program, Imagination Library, going statewide in Washington.

"Just think of all the books we're going to put in the hands of so many children," Parton said from the stage.

Watch the video of Dolly Parton in Tacoma below.

Lieutenant Governor Denny Heck introduced Parton, and presented her with flowers from Seattle's Pike Place Market, in a vase from Tacoma's Museum of Glass. She presented Heck with a signed copy of her children's book, "Coat of Many Colors."

She then had a fireside chat with State Superintendent Chris Reykdal. She explained that she wanted to help children learn to read because her family didn't have much when she was a child. Her father never learned to read. That experience, growing up, inspired her to find a way to help children learn to read, no matter where they are from.

The Imagination Library program provides free books for children up to age 5, and aims to encourage literacy. Parton started the program in 1995 in her home state of Tennessee. It has since gone international and has provided millions of free books to children.

Washington's branch of the Imagination Library began in 2022. United Ways of the Pacific Northwest manages the program. It is sponsored by the state's Dept. of Children, Youth, and Families and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

While speaking with Reykdal, the topic of her upcoming rock album, "Rockstar," came up, and she mentioned that she worked with Washington's Brandi Carlile and Ann Wilson.

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