The first book through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library scheme is being sent out to eligible two-year-old children in Hull this month.
The first book children will receive is Peter Rabbit. Children that are eligible to receive the two-year-old early education entitlement can receive a book for free every month through the scheme.
Over 1,500 children are eligible in the city and so far over 300 have signed up through their nursery or childminder.
Emma Duval has signed up for her son, Foster, and she said: “He will love receiving his own book through the post each month. Unwrapping it will be part of the excitement and will encourage his reading. Signing up was easy and i’d recommend parents speak to their nursery, child minder or children’s centre about it, as reading at an early age is so important for children.”
From 21 September, parents of two year olds can also register for the scheme via their local library or children’s centre, as well as through nurseries and child minders.
Hull City council has allocated £88,500 for the initial roll out of the scheme, and a Charitable Trust has been formed to raise the funding needed annually for the scheme to continue.
Councillor Peter Clark, Portfolio Holder for learning and skills said: “We are hoping the charity is a success, so that we can expand the scheme to under-fives across the city. Evidence shows that reading aloud to children at a young age positively impacts on their brain development, and will also improve the reading age of children entering school.”
The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is a non-profit organisation established in 1990.