West Berkshire Family Life


Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a charity that promotes early childhood literacy by providing free, age appropriate books, one per month to registered children for them to keep. Children receive books between birth and the month they turn five, so if you registered at birth, you could receive up to 60 books-what a brilliant library! The Imagination Library is an affiliate of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Dolly started the scheme in the USA some years ago as she wanted to make a difference to the educational outcomes of children. Reading to young children is one of the best things you can do to improve concentration, imagination and develop language skills so Dolly created the Imagination Library. The first Imagination Library in the UK opened in 2007 and now over 20,000 children are registered in the UK.
Not all areas in the Uk have a programme set up unfortunately. West Berkshire currently only has 2 on our door step; Lambourn and South East Newbury. To register your interest or find out about championing a programme in your area please click here for more information.
However if you live in the Lambourn area and have children under 5, then you can sign up to the Lambourn Imagination Library. This is run by Helen Hastle, Mum to Eric who is now 6 and George who’s 3. Helen fits ordering the books, registering children and fundraising around looking after her boys and working part-time as a project manager. Helen heard about the Imagination Library in a Radio 4 programme and loved the idea of setting a branch up in Lambourn, especially as it was age appropriate for her boys.
The books arrive through the post, addressed to the child. Helen says, ‘Nothing beats the excitement of getting that book in the post, especially as your child gets older and can recognise their name on the label.’ Helen fundraises to cover the costs so there is no charge to register or receive books!
The books are carefully chosen by Penguin from their new books and back catalogue, and are all age-appropriate. Recent popular books have included Harry and the Dinosaurs, Bog Baby and Brown Bear Brown Bear.
If you live in the Lambourn area, want to find out more or to register your child you can do so online at www.lambournimaginationlibrary.co.uk or collect a registration form from the Lambourn Library. Alternatively Contact Helen: E: lambournil@gmail.com T: 07881 613472.

Please note that this article was originally posted in 2015. Please find some up-to-date information on the poster below (posted June 2023):

Dolly Parton Scheme

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