How Dolly has helped get N-east kids read­ing

Evening Express (City Final) - - Front Page - By Adele Mer­son

MORE than 1,300 books have been gifted to some of the city’s poor­est chil­dren as part of a scheme de­liv­ered by coun­try and west­ern star Dolly Par­ton.

The 9 to 5 singer struck a deal with Aberdeen City Coun­cil in May 2016 as the next des­ti­na­tion for her global li­brary project for un­der­priv­i­leged young­sters.

Un­der the scheme ev­ery child in care in Aberdeen en­rolled in the project re­ceives a book in the post ev­ery month.

Each one is per­son­ally ad­dressed and all ti­tles in the li­brary are pub­lished by Pen­guin Ran­dom House.

Coun­cil­lor John Wheeler, ed­u­ca­tion op­er­a­tional de­liv­ery con­vener, said: “I am ab­so­lutely de­lighted to say that our part­ner­ship with the Dolly Par­ton Imag­i­na­tion Li­brary has gone from strength to strength since its in­cep­tion in Aberdeen in

2016.

“We now have 152 looked-af­ter chil­dren be­tween the ages of 0-4 en­rolled in the li­brary and a to­tal of 1,390 books have been sent out to chil­dren.

“We are com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing the best out­comes pos­si­ble for chil­dren and young peo­ple. Our part­ner­ship with the Dol­ly­wood Foun­da­tion has played such an im­por­tant part in that am­bi­tion and we look for­ward to even more success in fu­ture.”

Coun­cil bosses pre­vi­ously hailed the ini­tia­tive as a “great way” to boost read­ing among chil­dren in care.

Dolly said in­spir­ing kids to love to read “be­came my mis­sion”.

She added: “In the be­gin­ning, my hope was sim­ply to in­spire the chil­dren in my home county.

“But here we are to­day with a world­wide pro­gramme that gives a book a month to well over one mil­lion chil­dren.

“I am de­lighted the City of Aberdeen is part of my Imag­i­na­tion Li­brary pro­gramme.”

Ms Par­ton, who grew up in Se­vier County, Tennessee, has de­scribed her own fam­ily as “dirt poor”.

But, over a five-decade ca­reer, she tran­scended hard­ship to be­come the most suc­cess­ful coun­try and west­ern star of all time with such in­ter­na­tional hits as I Will Al­ways Love You, Jo­lene and 9 to 5.

Dolly set up the very first Imag­i­na­tion Li­brary in 1995.

Since then her Dol­ly­wood Foun­da­tion has sent more than 70 mil­lion free books to chil­dren world­wide, in­clud­ing more than 1.3 mil­lion posted in the UK.

We look for­ward to even more success

in­spir­ing: Dolly with chil­dren ben­e­fit­ing from her scheme.

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