Dolly Parton’s ‘Imagination Library’ delivers books bonanza for Castlemilk kids



The Castlemilk youngsters get to grips with their new books watched by a life-size Peter Rabbit

Castlemilk youngsters have booked their place in a brand new reading initiative thanks to Dolly Parton and two local housing associations.

The hugely-admired singer famed for her stellar country music career also runs the globally-renowned ‘Imagination Library’ designed to get kids reading and create a love of books.

It has now been launched in Castlemilk after Ardenglen Housing Association and Craigdale Housing Association signed up to the Imagination Library delivering a huge reading boost to kids.

All youngsters aged from birth until they reach their fifth birthday who are signed up will now get a book sent to them free of charge in the post each month after the housing associations put up the funding. The launch coincided with International Literacy Day.

The Library was created by Dolly Parton and has been a runaway success elsewhere in the UK and in the US, Canada and Australia

Youngsters attending the Castlemilk launch got their first book handed to them – the Beatrix Potter classic The Tale of Peter Rabbit - with a life size rabbit on hand to make the story come alive for eager young readers. They also enjoyed storytelling from members of ‘Book Bug’ team from the Scottish Book Trust.

Two hundred and thirty Glasgow children whose parents or guardians are tenants of housing associations are already signed up to the scheme and it is hoped to extend this across the city.

Similar arrangements are in place with other housing providers in West Lothian and South Lanarkshire.

Audrey Simpson, chief executive of Ardenglen Housing Association, said: “We know that having access to books from a young age is important and can have a positive impact for a child such as developing language skills, improved concentration and encouraging a thirst for knowledge.

“When we heard about the Dolly Patron Imagination Library, we were blown away by the project and the impact it could have on Castlemilk youngsters but then realised it was not available. We set about changing that.

“We also recognise that investing in young people is really important and believe the Imagination Library is a great way to support our pre-schoolers.”

Anne Marie Brown, director of Craigdale Housing Association, said “We are delighted to work in conjunction with Ardenglen and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to give the children of our community the opportunity to grow their imaginations from a young age.”

Kirsteen Watson, regional director for The Dollywood Foundation UK, said: “Momentum is really building in Glasgow and we are thrilled to welcome the two housing associations from Castlemilk on board. I am absolutely sure that Dolly will be delighted too. She is committed to ensuring the Imagination Library plays a key role in the development and education of children.”



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