CHILDREN in Tamworth have a far higher risk of developmental challenges than other parts of the state.
The Dolly Parton Imagination Library hopes to turn the page on that, delivering a free book every month to children aged zero to five in town.
Early childhood professor Bridie Raban is on the panel that picks the books, she said it’s aimed at inspiring a love of reading and improving literacy.
“Particularly in the years before school if they’re used to enjoying and sharing books children know a lot about literacy before they start school,” she said.
“They have strong conceptual frameworks, it means that when they get to school they hit the ground running – that’s where it’s going to make a difference.”
The project comes at a $19,000 price tag for the first six months, and will kick off in January next year.
Council will need to put aside another $70,000 to fully fund it for a year, and parents can sign up at the hospital when their child is born or at their local library.
Tamworth Regional Council councillor Juanita Wilson said within our region some children aren’t given the same opportunities.
“There’s the added benefit between parent and child as they share a book together,” she said.
“We just felt that was critical, the other benefit is that the Dolly Parton Foundation builds on that Sister City connection with Nashville.
“It’s got a strong business ethic within Nashville.”
The project launched at Tamworth Regional Library on Friday, and has seen nearly 110 million books delivered.