Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.11 14 Feb 2020


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Children in south Dublin are taking up a free book-gifting scheme, from US superstar Dolly Parton.

The singer and actress launched the Imagination Library back in 1995, which offers free, high-quality books to children from birth until they begin school - no matter their family's income.

More than 5,300 children in Tallaght have signed up to the programme.

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) project is being coordinated by the Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) to encourage local children's reading.

Coordinator Emma Reilly said the scheme celebrated its first birthday in Ireland on Friday.

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

Dolly Parton Image: © 2020 Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

"Together with the support of An Post and Tusla, 33,108 books have been delivered during the past year. We are so grateful to the local postmen and postwomen who have helped to get all of these books into the hands of more children."

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

The books are addressed to the child and posted directly to their home.

Ms Reilly also highlighted the need for corporate and public support: "CDI is the affiliate for the Imagination Library here in Ireland.

"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.

"We will be commencing a major fundraising campaign in the coming weeks and months, looking for corporate and individual sponsorship."

CDI is a non-profit organisation working to improve outcomes for children in disadvantaged communities in Ireland.

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library operates in Ireland, Australia, Canada, the UK and USA.


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Childhood Development Initiative Dolly Parton Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Free Books Imagination Library Ireland Milestone Singer Tallaght

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