Free books available for eligible families

Eligible families with newborns across NSW can now access Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to receive a free, brand new, age-appropriate book every month.

Image: Donna Viengkham with her children at Whitlam Library Cabramatta celebrating the launch of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Whitlam Library Cabramatta, on Dharug country, last month welcomed local families and their newborns to the launch of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which aims to enrich children’s early literacy skills.

Launched in NSW in January 2022, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is partnering with the NSW Government under the $8 million program, available in 25 local government areas across the state, as part of the Brighter Beginnings initiative.

Eligible families from across Fairfield LGA were welcomed at the event and heard from guest speakers, including Minister for Education and Early Learning, Sarah Mitchell and The Mayor of Fairfield City Frank Carbone, and participated in bilingual story time.

Dolly Parton Imagination Library participant Donna Viengkham, who attended with her son Taika, said the program is a wonderful support for her family.

“When I heard about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, I knew this was a great initiative and understood why so many families are eager to be involved,” Donna said.

“We also have a two-year-old so being able to receive a monthly new book will engage both our children and creates, for both my husband and myself, a regular trigger to make sure we have really good reading habits as a family.

“I think it’s really wonderful to have this focus on reading and language development, and this program make it easier for us as we know the free books are going to be great and appropriate for our children,” she said.

Donna is looking forward to receiving their first book to be delivered directly to her home in a few weeks.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library aims to assist children to reach their developmental potential and start school with a solid foundation for lifelong learning.

Thanks to a partnership with United Way Australia, local councils and NSW Health, families across 25 Local Government Areas with children born from 1 January 2022 will be able to access the program, where a children’s book will be delivered each month to their home, along with family support materials.

All eligible parents across the state are encouraged to sign their newborn children up to receive a free, brand new, age-appropriate book every month, until they turn five.

For more information, visit the Brighter Beginnings webpage.

Image: Paola Alfonzo attended the launch of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library with her child, Nanuel.
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