New Gorbals Housing Association launches Imagination Library

New Gorbals Housing Association launches Imagination Library

Parents of children born from the 1st January 2019 can now access 12 months’ of free books from New Gorbals Housing Association’s Gorbals Imagination Library.

The Gorbals Imagination Library is a new book-gifting scheme for the area, created through a partnership of local organisations and b Imagination Library.

With funding provided by New Gorbals Housing Association, up to 250 families in the area can benefit from this initiative.

Dolly Parton’s initial project started in 1995 in Sevier County, Tennessee, where she grew up. It quickly grew in size, and to date has benefitted 1.5 million children across several countries. The Dollywood Foundation distributes the programme, with local champions like the Gorbals Imagination Library providing funding for their chosen areas.

Children who are signed up to the programme will receive 12 books, one each month over the course of a year. The first title sent to families will be Beatrix Potter’s classic The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Each month’s chosen book is carefully selected to give children a varied and exciting collection over the course of 12 months.

Linda Malone, chairperson of New Gorbals Housing Association, said: “This partnership will add so much to the wonderful children and family services we already have in the Gorbals. Having access to books and reading is not only a great way for families to spend time together, but can help to set children up for a bright future of learning. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a fantastic programme, and I am delighted that we have been able to work with our partners to bring this to our community.”

Founding partners in the Gorbals project are TASK Childcare Services and Giggle n Grow. Both organisations work directly with young children and families, and understand just how much families gain when they play and learn together.

Angie Muir, depute service manager for TASK Childcare Services, added: “I am delighted to be involved in this unique partnership, bringing parents, carers and children the opportunity to bond and share valuable time together, especially in these difficult times. The books from the Imagination Library will foster the development of listening skills and vocabulary and help children to develop a positive attitude towards reading from an early age.“

Linda Muirhead, manager of Giggle n Grow South Glasgow, said: “We are extremely excited to be part of this wonderful programme where children will benefit from receiving a book every month to share at home with family and friends.”

The Gorbals Imagination Library is the first programme in Glasgow led by a community consortium.

Kirsty Hill, regional director of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, commented: “We are thrilled to welcome children from the Gorbals to the Imagination Library family. With research suggesting that one in eight households in the UK do not own a single book, the Imagination Library makes a real difference by delivering books straight to family homes across the country.

“We are privileged to provide a range of wonderful books to help families create memories and build foundations for learning by reading together at home.”

“With Dolly Parton’s ongoing commitment to the Imagination Library and the dedication of our wonderful community partners, more of Glasgow’s youngest children are starting to benefit from this programme. We are delighted that this exciting new partnership in Gorbals will help realise Dolly’s mission of inspiring a lifelong love of books and reading by reaching more children in the city.”

The local programme is now open, and parents and guardians can register their children by contacting any of the Gorbals Imagination Library partners.

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