Vol­un­teers needed for Dolly Par­ton scheme

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DOLLY Par­ton’s new lit­er­acy pro­gramme ur­gently needs 12 more vol­un­teers in Mersey­side area to help chil­dren be­come ready to read.

Story Starters is a new pro­gramme that sup­ports early years’ chil­dren to learn the es­sen­tial skills to be­come ready to read when they reach pri­mary school.

These chil­dren, aged three to five, will re­ceive high qual­ity sup­port from trained vol­un­teers to en­able the chil­dren to de­velop their lan­guage and read­ing skills.

Story Starters has just launched in Mersey­side but it ur­gently needs 12 more vol­un­teers for its next train­ing course at Liver­pool Cen­tral Li­brary on Novem­ber 27.

This will en­sure the pro­gramme is ben­e­fit­ting as many chil­dren as pos­si­ble and has enough vol­un­teers for a ro­bust eval­u­a­tion of the pro­gramme to take place.

Story Starters is a new col­lab­o­ra­tive project be­tween na­tional chil­dren’s lit­er­acy char­ity Beanstalk, Dolly Par­ton’s Imag­i­na­tion Li­brary and Lu­CiD (The ESRC In­ter­na­tional Cen­tre for Lan­guage and Com­mu­nica­tive Devel­op­ment).

In­ter­na­tional su­per­star and phi­lan­thropist, Dolly Par­ton, re­cently launched a new film to en­cour­age more peo­ple to get in­volved with Story Starters.

Re­search has shown chil­dren who ben­e­fit from high­qual­ity sup­port in their early years start school on av­er­age three months ahead in lit­er­acy and lan­guage skills, com­pared with chil­dren who don’t.

The pro­gramme has been made pos­si­ble by play­ers of Peo­ple’s Post­code Lot­tery, whose Dream Fund chose Story Starters to re­ceive £1m in fund­ing in Jan­uary 2017.

Na­talie Kent, Early Years Lead at North­way Pri­mary in Liver­pool, says: “We have wel­comed the Story Starters project into our school with open arms.

“Our chil­dren and their fam­i­lies are de­lighted to be re­ceiv­ing books each month from the Dolly Par­ton Imag­i­na­tion Li­brary. This will cer­tainly pro­mote a love of read­ing and books.”

Story Starters vol­un­teers will visit chil­dren twice a week and sup­port three chil­dren for 20 min­utes each.

The ses­sions are fun, in­ter­ac­tive and hugely ben­e­fi­cial to the chil­dren re­ceiv­ing ex­tra sup­port.

Dolly Par­ton’s Imag­i­na­tion Li­brary will pro­vide ev­ery Story Starters child with high-qual­ity, pro­fes­sion­ally-se­lected, age-ap­pro­pri­ate books.

These books will be sent di­rectly to both the early years set­ting and the home of each Story Starters child, en­sur­ing that they can en­joy the magic of sto­ries at home as well as when they are with their Story Starters.

You can apply to be­come a Story Starters vol­un­teer by vis­it­ing www.sto­rys­tarters. org.uk.

Story Starters is call­ing for more vol­un­teers in Mersey­side to help sup­port chil­dren’s lit­er­acy

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