As I have written before, I grew up listening to country music with my dad as a square dance caller. A little over a year ago, I came across a copy of the book "Coat of Many Colors" by Dolly Parton. At the same time, I acquired a copy of "Good Night Tennessee," part of the Good Night Our World series. As these two books came into my library, I started reading more and then listening to the many songs written by Dolly over her amazing career.
As an adult, I listened to the lyrics with an entire new perspective. Having gone through immense training on primary sources, her lyrics are such a storytelling gem. I also came across her DVD from her live concert in London from 2008. This clip below doesn't do her story justice (even though I can listen to the song over and over). Dolly's lead in story speaks about the love she felt in her family despite the fact that the roof leaked, there could be a lack of food, her father worked endless hours and her mother was busy raising 12 children.
What makes me even more appreciative of her is her dedication to early childhood education. Years ago, she started the Imagination Library to supply children with books from birth to age 5 so that they are ready for Kindergarten. Her father never had the opportunity to learn how to read and she is very proud that her father lived to see her start the Imagination Library. Kids fondly call her the "book lady."
I love reading the "Coat of Many Colors" to my students. We spend time reading the book and then writing about their own small moments. Today we celebrated her birthday as we learned about Tennessee.
Happy birthday to an amazing woman and great role model!