Dolly Parton gifts books from birth to five

Parents and bubs will be reading from 9 to 5 thanks to a partnership with the country music icon.

Image: Mum's a word: A program to deliver free books to children from birth will help embed a love of reading.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell is encouraging eligible parents across the state to sign their newborn children up to receive a free, new, age-appropriate book every month, until they turn five.

Launched in NSW in January 2022, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library is partnering with the NSW Government to enrich children’s early literacy skills under the $8 million program as part of the Brighter Beginnings initiative.

Ms Mitchell, who was at Cabramatta Library recently to launch the Fairfield chapter of the Imagination Library, said the program was now running in 25 local government areas and had gifted more than 400 books to children, with another 700 books going out in the coming weeks. More than 900 children are currently enrolled in the program.

“This early literacy program aims to help our littlest learners reach their developmental potential and start school with a solid foundation for lifelong learning,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Every child deserves a bright start in life and I encourage all eligible families to take advantage of this innovative program and enrol today.

“We’ve already seen the success of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library internationally, and thanks to a partnership with United Way Australia, local councils and NSW Health, we’re making sure families can easily sign up and are supported with additional advice.”

United Way Australia CEO Clayton Noble said he was excited to be partnering with the NSW Government and local councils for this program.

“Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library will be a big boost to supporting more children across the state to enjoy reading in those crucial early years,” Mr Noble said.

More information can be found on the Brighter Beginnings hub.

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