More than 4,000 children a month now get free books through their door in Nottingham thanks to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
Nottingham City Council has been working alongside the Rotary Club of Nottingham to co-ordinate fundraising for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library since the charity chose to back the appeal in 2012.
Since then, donations have increased to see more and more local children benefiting – and now the 100,000th book has been sent out in Nottingham.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library delivers a free book for a child to keep and read with their family. They receive these from birth until their fifth birthday.
There are now more than 4,000 local children registered with the scheme. It currently runs in 7 wards across Nottingham and will shortly be extended to Bridge and Dales.
Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years at Nottingham City Council, said: “Reaching this milestone is an amazing achievement. There are now 100,000 more children’s books filling up bookcases across the city –helping to inspire the imaginations and vocabulary of more than 4,000 local children.
“This is all down to the efforts of our fundraisers and partners, and I’d like to pay tribute to all the hard work that has gone into that.
“It’s so important. The free book is about more than just reading; it’s dedicated time that parents are spending with their children, developing a love of books at an early age. As well as the close bond this fosters in families, it can also help with language development.
“However, we need to ensure that people continue to support this charity. We have already seen the scheme extended across Nottingham but in time we would like to see these free books go to every home in the city.”
Local data shows that Nottingham children are likely to start school with reading skills up to 14% behind the national average, while recent research in the United States indicates that children who have been on the scheme for three years or more are 28% more ‘school ready’ than those who have not received the books.
Donations are always welcome. Just £2 a month is enough to ensure a child gets their free book. Alternatively, a one-off donation of just £25 will pay for one child to receive a free book delivered to their home each month for an entire year. More information on how to donate is here