Dolly Parton

Dolly’s Young Dublin Readers Take Up Free Book Scheme In Big Numbers

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Many children on the southside of Dublin are taking up a free book-gifting scheme provided by US country music icon Dolly Parton, and in their thousands.

The singer and actress launched the Imagination Library project in 1995 offering high-quality books, free-of-charge to children from their birth until they begin school.

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library operates here as well as in Australia, Canada, the UK and USA. Meanwhile more than 5,300 children in Tallaght have signed up to the programme as the numbers taking up the offer continues to grow and grow.

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The Library project is coordinated in the capital by the Childhood Development Initiative to encourage reading for local children.

CDI is a non-profit organisation working to improve outcomes for children in disadvantaged communities in Ireland and an affiliate of the Imagination Library.

Coordinator Emma Reilly said the scheme has just turned a year old in Ireland

“An estimated 75% of children aged 0-5 years in Dublin 24 have received, or are currently receiving books.

“Together with the support of An Post and Tusla, 33,108 books have been delivered during the past year.

“DPIL provides the book ordering system, the branding and the ability to buy books at cost price. CDI, supported by Tusla, buys the books at cost and coordinates programme delivery.

Parents living in Dublin 24 can sign their children up online and they receive a free high-quality book to keep every month until they are five.

Dolly Parton reads her book, “The Coat of Many Colors” to schoolchildren at The Library of Congress on February 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images)