Councillor Mellen raising funds for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

A scheme that gives free books to children has reached a major milestone in Nottingham – and been praised by the charity’s founder Dolly Parton.

A total of 5,000 children in Nottingham are now on the register to receive a free book every month from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

The country music star and founder, Dolly Parton, has praised the city for its ongoing efforts to ensure children receive free books.

“So thank you from the bottom of my country heart for all you have done to inspire your children to love books and love learning.”
Dolly parton

She said: “Hi Nottingham… Congratulations on yet another success! You are truly special because there are not many programs in the world that provide a book each month to over 5,000 children.”

“So thank you from the bottom of my country heart for all you have done to inspire your children to love books and love learning.”

The scheme runs in 10 of the city’s 20 wards, including Hyson Green, Radford, Dunkirk and Lenton due to major funding from Castle Cavendish.

Nottingham Councillor David Mellen, portfolio holder for early intervention and early years, will raise money through the ‘Big Reading Challenge’ which will be donated to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library charity.

The challenge entails reading to 5,000 children over 50 days, in order to show the importance of books in education.

Councillor Mellen said: “Unfortunately in Nottingham too many of our children start school behind the expected literacy levels.”

“Reading to 5,000 children over 50 days is an ambitious challenge but it’s a cause I feel strongly about. I hope that I am able to raise funds to give even more children the best start in life.”

The  city council is preparing for its annual Summer Reading Challenge.  The aim is to get all four to 11 year-olds, to read six or more library books over the summer.  Last year,
9,427 children took part across Nottinghamshire, with 5,010 going on to read all six  books and complete the challenge.