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Dolly Parton Imagination Library to be launched at Canterbury estate (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)

Dolly Parton Imagination Library to be launched at Canterbury estate 11:00am Monday 28th May 2012 in News library: Mustafaa Riasat with his mum Nadia Ibrahim at the nursery A book scheme for under-fives, founded by a renowned country singer, is to be brought to a Bradford estate. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library for Canterbury is being launched this summer, and is set to be the first in West Yorkshire. The Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Dale Smith has pledged a donation as part of his appeal year, which will help get the project off the ground. It works with Penguin books to supply books to all under-fives in the area who register for the scheme. Journalism lecturer Jan Winter, of Shipley, said she took a leap of faith in setting up the scheme for Canterbury after reading about its successful introduction in Rotherham. “The beauty of this is that the child receives a free book, addressed to them, through the post every month until their fifth birthday,” she said. “They build up their own library. I was determined to make this happen. Staff at the wonderful Canterbury children’s centre are so supportive and enthusiastic, and initially they will undertake to register children to receive free books. “In difficult financial times, it’s hard for some families to provide these sorts of resources and this project aims to foster a love of reading and to encourage parent and child to sit together and enjoy a book, from the child’s very early months and years.” Jan decided to start the project after the estate was highlighted in the TV documentary Poor Kids last year. Chris McKay, head of Canterbury Nursery School and Centre for Children and Families, said there were more than 1,300 under-fours living in the area, who could benefit from the new scheme. “This is a new and exciting venture for us, she said. “Part of our strategy is to encourage all parents to sit and share books with their children, so this scheme fits with that.” For more information, or to make a donation, e-mail canterburyimagine@

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