Dolly Parton praises Nottingham's free book scheme for children

The Imagination Library aims to improve children’s literacy levels so that they are more likely to be ready to start school when they turn five.

Councillor David Mellen with the 5,000th child to receive the free books, baby Remae Gordon-Goode, with dad Raelle, mum Melanie and sister Kyron (Image: Nottingham City Council)

A scheme that gives free books to children has reached a major milestone in Nottingham – and been praised by the charity’s founder Dolly Parton.

A total of 5,000 children aged five and under in Nottingham are now on the register to receive a free book every month from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

The book-gifting scheme currently covers 10 of the city’s 20 wards. Reaching 5,000 children each month for the first time marks a significant milestone for the Imagination Library in Nottingham.

Country music star and founder, Dolly Parton, has praised the city for its ongoing efforts to ensure children receive free books.

She said: “Hi Nottingham… Congratulations on yet another success. You are truly special because there are not many programs in the world that provide a book each month to over 5,000 children. So thank you from the bottom of my country heart for all you have done to inspire your children to love books and love learning.”

The Imagination Library aims to improve children’s literacy levels so that they are more likely to be ready to start school when they turn five.

Age appropriate books are delivered addressed to the child every month from birth, allowing them to build up a library of 60 books over five years.

The vision of the Imagination Library was first launched in Nottingham in 2009 by a teaching assistant in Wollaton.

Momentum gathered when the Rotary Club of Nottingham worked with Nottingham City Council to help to co-ordinate fundraising which enabled the Imagination Library to be set up in the Nottingham neighbourhood of Bilborough in 2012.

The 5,000th child to receive the free books in Nottingham was baby Remae Gordon-Goode from Sneinton.

Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years in Nottingham who represents the Dales Ward for Labour, said: “This is a significant milestone for our city. The scheme has grown and grown: it is an incredible achievement to have 5,000 children now receiving the free books every month.

“We continue to fundraise for the charity as our ambition is clear: we want every child in Nottingham to receive a free book every month.”

Councillor Mellen is currently undertaking a Big Reading Challenge for the Imagination Library in Nottingham – aiming to read to 5,000 children in 50 days to raise £5,000 for the charity between January 28 and March 18.

He said: “Reading to 5,000 children over 50 days is an ambitious challenge but it’s a cause I feel strongly about.

“Our children deserve the best possible start in life. We know that reading with children is one of the best ways to set them up for a bright future.

“Not all Nottingham children have access to a range of books in their home and we know that sharing stories regularly can help children be ready for nursery, by which time we know that some Nottingham children are already behind in their development in comparison to their peers.

“This charity ensures that every child receives a free book every month. It’s about giving our children the joy of reading.”

Councillor Mellen is appealing for sponsorship money and hopes to raise at least £5,000 for the Imagination Library. Every donation helps:

    £2 can pay for a child to get a new book
    £25 can pay for a child to get a new book each month for a year
    £125 pays for a child to get a book every month from birth until their 5th birthday

To make a donation visit Councillor Mellen’s fundraising page http://www.gofundme.com/bigreadingchallenge

The Nottingham scheme is supported by local organisations: The Rotary Club of Nottingham, Castle Cavendish, Small Steps Big Changes

http://www.nottinghampost.com/news/local-news/dolly-parton-praises-nottinghams-free-2548270

'What We Do' Main Pages:

Councillor David Mellen with the 5,000th child to receive the free books, baby Remae Gordon-Goode, with dad Raelle, mum Melanie and sister Kyron (Image: Nottingham City Council)

The Imagination Library aims to improve children’s literacy levels so that they are more likely to be ready to start school when they turn five.

more  

There are many ways to fund raise for charities. One Nottingham Rotary club member combines a winter holiday in a warm climate with running a half marathon for Nottingham charities.

more  
Shirland Welfare Brass Band

Shirland Welfare Brass Band has been named as the selection for the 2018 Listen with the Band concert on Saturday 20th October

more  

Rotary clubs, like Nottingham, enable people to give some of their time to help make the world a better place under the ideal of 'Service above Self'.

more  
President Paul Jones welcomes his Dad Howard

President Paul Jones welcomes his Dad Howard as a new member to the club

more  
Deck The Halls Rotary Club Of Nottingham

Featuring Salvation Army Bands, Choirs, Timbrels and Nottingham Primary School Choirs

more  
Emmanuel House charity workers Gill Barker and Lauren Howatson

We shared the £1200 we raised at our annual brass band concert last year between three local charities and last month we visited Emmanuel House to hand over their cheque.

more  
Nottingham Rotary Football Club awards with Shirley Mee

Nottingham Rotary Club Football Team held their awards night at the club this week. The club with the unusual name started life when Jake Spencer, the son of Rotarian Chris couldn't find a Five-a-Side team with a spare place and decided to start their own

more  
Long Eaton Silver Prize Band Nottingham Rotary

A packed Lutterell Hall at West Bridgford enjoyed a brass band concert from the Long Eaton Silver Prize Band on Saturday October 14th raising over £1200 for local good causes.

more  
farah deba a health worker

In a historic milestone to mark World Polio Day on 24 October, type 3 of the wild poliovirus has been declared eradicated. Following the eradication of smallpox and wild poliovirus type 2, this news represents a new achievement for humanity.

more  

Raising local child literacy level and fostering a love of reading in pre-school children

more  
some of the team that run Studio House

Studio House is a residential rehabilitation centre for people with alcohol and/or drug addiction problems

more  
Carol Concert at William Booth Memorial Halls

Featuring Salvation Army Bands and Choirs with Nottingham school choirs and guests. In the presence of The Lord Mayor of Nottingham. All proceeds go to The Salvation Army.

more  
Rotary Club of Nottingham Centenary in Pictures by John E. Wright

Two enormous coloured display banners showing the 100 year history of Nottingham Rotary Club took centre stage at a civic meeting hosted by the Lord Mayor

more