Dolly Parton Presents Special Award to Kansas Teacher
Dolly Parton has become known for her philanthropy, most notably her Imagination Library, which provides books to children in Tennessee. This week Parton honored another individual, Dyane Smokorowski, for her contributions to education with the Chasing Rainbows Award.
The award is presented annually by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year to a remarkable educator who “has overcome great obstacles in his or her life, has captured the rainbow and is helping children.”
Parton was the first recipient of the award in 2002, for her dedication to encouraging a love of reading among children, regardless of socioeconomic status, through the Imagination Library. She now presents the award every year and honors the recipients with an award displayed at the Chasing Rainbows Museum in Dollywood.
Smokorowski is the Instructional Technology Coach for Andover Public Schools in Andover, Kansas.
“It is difficult to admit that my personal struggles actually prepared me to be a stronger person today. I wanted to be someone who could inspire others to reach beyond their environments, beyond their extremities, and to do as I have always done — to dream big!” she said upon receiving the award.
Parton recently announced she will be playing a charity benefit for the Dustin Wells Foundation at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium July 31. The event marks the first full show she has performed in Nashville in 12 years. The show sold out in record time on June 20 — almost immediately after the tickets went on sale.
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