20 May 2010
DOLLY PARTON’S IMAGINATION LIBRARY AND WESTBOURNE CHILDREN’S CENTRE
HOST LITERACY EVENT FOR WESTBOURNE WARD CHILDREN
Children’s literacy scheme keeps children under five reading with free classic children’s literature
London (20 May, 2010) As the summer break approaches, Westbourne Children’s Centre, in partnership with the Junior League of London and the Dollywood Foundation of the United Kingdom, is hosting a literacy event for children in the Westbourne Ward on Saturday, 22 May 2010 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The event, targeted at all children under five in the Westbourne Ward area, will include arts and crafts, book giveaways, story readings and a visit from Peter Rabbit, the character from Beatrix Potter’s beloved children’s book. In addition, children can register with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library programme at Westbourne Children’s Centre in order to receive one free children’s book each month.
Introduced in the U.K. in 2007, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a unique children’s literacy scheme that delivers a free, age-appropriate book each month to every registered child under five. The programme is designed to give children an early start on language development and provide a way for parents to connect with their children through the joy of reading. Established in the United States in 1996 by country singer Dolly Parton, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has distributed over 26 million to children worldwide. In the U.K., Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is currently distributing approximately 11,000 books each month.
More than 70 children have registered with the programme at Westbourne Children’s Centre and have been receiving one free classic book each month since January 2010.
According to a September 2006 report from the London Child Poverty Commission, Westbourne Ward has the highest rate in London (83%) of children dependent on benefits. The Junior League of London hopes to support the Westbourne Ward by registering at least 150 children in 2010 with the literacy programme to help children build a strong foundation for learning and future education. Academic research has found that interaction through reading books builds and strengthens emotional bonds and assists essential brain development. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is focused on getting books to children in need to help these benefits flow to as many children as possible.
About the Junior League of London
The Junior League of London is a UK registered charity comprised of women committed to promoting voluntary service, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. A member of the Association of Junior Leagues International and active in London since 1978, the JLL’s more than 400 volunteer members who provide more than 20,000 hours of service to the community each year through dedicated programmes targeted to break the cycle of poverty through education and employment. To learn more about the Junior League and its community projects, visit www.jll.org.uk.
About Dollywood Foundation of the United Kingdom
Established in the United States in 1996 by country singer Dolly Parton, Dolly’s Parton’s Imagination Library is a unique children’s literacy scheme that delivers a free age-appropriate book each month to every registered child under five. The programme is designed to give children an early start on language development and provide a way for parents to connect with their children through the joy of reading. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has distributed over 22 million books to more than 500,000 children worldwide. In 2008, Rotherham became the first town in the UK to introduce the scheme, which has now delivered over 100,000 books in the UK.
About Westbourne Children’s Centre
The Westbourne Children’s Centre provides services to over 130 families with children under five located in Westbourne Ward as part of the City of Westminster’s children’s centres network. The Centre provides early education and childcare for children under five, child and family health services, family support, including help with parenting skills and help for parents to get back into employment childcare and early education.