Parton expanding childhood literacy program

May 15, 2009 11:41:19 AM PDT
Dolly Parton says she's expanding her philanthropic work with children through a partnership with the United Way of America. [SIGN UP: Get entertainment news sent to you]

The entertainer says her Imagination Library and the United Way have set a goal to provide free books monthly to 1 million children by 2014. That's double what the literacy initiative now serves.

She joined Brian Gallagher, chief executive of the national nonprofit, to make the announcement at a conference in Detroit on Friday. Parton also performed her hit "9 to 5."

The program founded by Parton in her home state of Tennessee in the mid-'90s operates in the U.S., Canada and Britain.

She recently spent several weeks in New York working on "9 to 5: The Musical," a stage version of the 1980 movie in which she starred.

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