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Dolly Parton hopes to inspire children to read

Dolly Parton - whose late father Lee couldn't read or write - has created a special video and playlist in the hope that more kids will develop a passion for reading.

Singer/actor Dolly Parton speaks onstage during The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - Music icon Dolly Parton has revealed she is hoping to inspire children to read more books.

The 72-year-old icon - whose late father Lee couldn't read or write - has created a special video and playlist in the hope that more kids will develop a passion for reading.

Speaking in reference to YouTube Kids' global Reading Month, Parton told PEOPLE: "I believe initiatives like Reading Month in YouTube Kids that encourage kid's love of reading at an early age are so important. These are the moments when dreams are born and these are the memories that last forever."

The 9 to 5 hitmaker launched her own book-gifting scheme in 1995 that provides free books to children between birth and the age of five in communities in the US, the UK, Canada and Australia.

Parton's non-profit organisation donated its 100 millionth book earlier this year, and the chart-topping star remains as enthusiastic about the cause as ever.

Parton - who previously revealed she launched the scheme in honour of her late father - shared: "It's a fact that the most important thing we can do to inspire kids to be lifetime learners is to read to them as much as possible."

Despite being raised in modest surroundings in Tennessee, the country megastar has always been proud of her upbringing and where she's come from.

The Grammy Award-winning star - whose mother Avie was a homemaker that had as many as 12 children by the time she was 35 - previously explained: "I would trade nothing for being brought up in the Great Smoky Mountains. I've never been ashamed of my people no matter how poor or dirty we might have been. I've always loved being from where I am, and having the folks that I've had."

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