Country music icon and humanitarian figure Dolly Parton is once again using his platform to help others develop.
Parton donated $ 1 million to Vanderbilt University for the COVID-19 study and funding for the Moderna vaccine back in 2020, and she encouraged people to take a picture in a video she shared while being vaccinated. The 11-time Grammy Award winner has also supported other humanitarian efforts, including fundraising and donations to HIV / AIDS initiatives, disaster relief, cancer treatment and animal rights.
Parton is now launching a higher education initiative for employees of its Dollywood theme park. Learn more about Parton’s latest educational program and four more times when she championed education, listed below.
1. She started a tuition payment program at Dollywood College Staff.
Employees of Dollywood Parks and Resorts in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, now receive more benefits than free rides on roller coasters and admission to the water park at Smokey Mountain. On Feb. 9, Parton announced she would begin paying full tuition fees for college, textbooks, and any additional school fees for theme park staff. This initiative in partnership with the Grow U program takes effect on February 24th. All 11,000 employees, including seasonal, part-time and full-time, will be eligible for compensation on the first day of work.
“One of the key principles of the Dollywood Foundation is“ learn more, ”said Dollywood Company President Eugene Notan.
“This program is based on this principle. We want our hosts to develop themselves through in-depth training to follow other principles of the foundation: take more care, dream more and be more ”.
2. She launched a literacy training program to get more books into the hands of children.
Parton founded the Dollywood Foundation in 1988 to promote the education of children in elementary schools in the Tennessee area. In 1995, the foundation launched its main initiative, the Library of Imagination, to mail free books to children from birth to their first year of school. Originally serving only Sevier County, Tennessee, the project became a global reach and distributed its 150 millionth book in 2020.
– Library of Imagination (@dollyslibrary) February 3, 2022
3. She created the Buddy program to keep teens in school.
After the Dollywood Foundation began working, Parton wanted to address dropout at a high school in Sevier, Tennessee, as part of the 1991 Buddy program. The foundation encouraged seventh- and eighth-graders in public schools to “make friends” with each other, offering them $ 500 when they both graduate from high school. In the first year of the program, dropout rates in the county dropped from 30% to 6%.
4. She recognized the teachers for their contribution.
In 2002, the Dollywood Foundation created the first Chasing Rainbows Award to annually honor a teacher who overcame adversity to change children’s lives.
“Dolly has overcome many obstacles in her life and changes the lives of children … Now Dolly, in turn, each year personally presents this award to a teacher who overcame obstacles in his life and changes the lives of children,” said Edna Rogers. , director of the Dolly Parton Chasing Rainbows Award, which won the award in 2002.
5. She encouraged college graduates to value education.
In 2009, Parton delivered a motivational speech at the University of Tennessee in which she shared her own educational experience and shared inspirational words.
“If I had only one request for you, I would ask you to know more,” she said. “Now that I was in school, I was getting only average grades. Probably because I dreamed too much about music and becoming a star. Or maybe I paid too much attention to the boys. Or maybe I was just your typical dumb A, and I know there are a lot of us out there. Anyway, it took me a while to realize that the more you learn about everything, the easier it is to do.
“I also believe that learning more means continuing to work on realizing your dreams,” she added.