Dolly Parton book scheme is one

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A castleford book gifting scheme that is backed by country star Dolly Parton has celebrated its first anniversary with an event at Airedale Library.

Dozens of mums, babies and toddlers gathered for reading, singing, playing and dancing to mark 12 months since The Dolly Parton Imagination Library scheme arrived in the Airedale and Ferry Fryston community.

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton

The initiative offers free books to babies born after September 1, 2016.

Children can sign up to receive an age appropriate book each month, by post, up until their fifth birthday.

The scheme is free and is provided in partnership with Wakefield Council and Spectrum Community Health CIC.

Coun Pat Garbutt, cabinet member for health at Wakefield Council, said: “We’re delighted to have reached this one year landmark of the Imagination Library in Airedale and Ferry Fryston.

“Babies love books and it’s never too soon to start reading. Reading with children from a young age builds listening, language and memory skills in a fun way, helping children get ready for school. It is also a great way to entertain and soothe younger children.”

More than 100 young children in the community are now members of the scheme and there is still time to sign up. The scheme is currently only available for those living in the Airedale and Ferry Fryston ward.

Linda Harris, chief executive of Spectrum, said: “We’re incredibly proud to support the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, a fantastic scheme which encourages young children to enjoy reading and immerse themselves in a world of colourful characters completely free of charge.

“The response we have received from families in Airedale and Ferry Fryston has been very positive in our first year and we are hoping to build on this success as the scheme continues.”

Parents of eligible children can find out more at www.spectrumhealth.org.uk/campaigns/dolly-parton-imagination-library, call 01924 311400 or visit Airedale Library, on The Square.