Country music legend Dolly Parton will this week launch a bedtime reading series aimed at relaxing children as the Chinese coronavirus continues to force school closures across America.
The series, named Goodnight with Dolly, will launch on Thursday under her nonprofit organization, Imagination Library, which provides children with free books around the world.
“This 10-week series will focus on comforting and reassuring children during the shelter-in-place mandates. Dolly hopes these videos will provide a welcomed distraction during a time of unrest and also inspire a love of reading and books in the hearts of the children who see them,” the organization said in a statement.
The series will air every Thursday at 7:00 p.m. EST for 10 weeks, featuring titles include The Little Engine That Could, There’s a Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake, Llama Llama Red Pajama, and I Am a Rainbow, which Parton wrote herself.
“The read-along will be a personal gift from Dolly to all families,” the organization said. “Free of charge but not free from obligation as the message will be to pass on the love and keep hope alive because we are all together, you and I.”
Parton, meanwhile, explained that she had wanted to do such a project for years.
“This is something I have been wanting to do for quite a while, but the timing never felt quite right,” Parton said. “I think it is pretty clear that now is the time to share a story and to share some love. It is an honor for me to share the incredible talent of these authors and illustrators.”
On Monday, the 74-year-old singer also shared an inspiring message to her fanbase about the ongoing pandemic, urging people to show courage while in isolation and know that God loves them during these challenging times.
“I’m not making light of the situation. Well, maybe I am, because it’s the light, I believe, that’s gonna dissolve the situation. I think God is in this, I really do,” the 12-time Grammy-winner said. “I think he’s trying to hold us up to the light so we can see ourselves and see each other through the eyes of love. And I hope we learn that lesson.”