“The Little Engine That Could” left an indelible mark on singer Dolly Parton. She loved the classic tale of perseverance so much as a child, the country singer wanted it to be the first book kids receive when they sign up for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. She has a natural ally in Virginia Delegate Carrie Coyner, who is committed to building strong, early literacy skills for Virginia’s youngest citizens. That’s why Coyner introduced legislation to expand the free books program in Virginia. In 2022, she also filed House legislation that led to the Virginia Literacy Act, which provides reading resources and funding to schools to bolster reading skills. Coyner saw another “amazing opportunity” to help Virginia’s youngest learners before this year’s General Assembly session. So, she introduced legislation to broaden the Imagination Library program beyond the localities in the state where it’s already up and running. The statewide program is expected to roll out around July 1, 2024.

Read Full Story