Tamworth Regional Council formed a partnership with United Way Australia to launch the program locally in January 2019.
Tamworth Region Mayor Col Murray said he was excited the program has reached such a significant milestone in less than two years.
“As a grandparent and great grandparent, I know how important it is for children to have access to books from an early age.”
“When children are read books from an early age it helps them to learn and ultimately develop curiosity about the world. Experts tell us reading to a child at a young age can dramatically improve their literacy skills.”
Each Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library book is chosen by a specialist committee to be both age appropriate and cover different cultures and languages.
The cost of buying and delivering books to local children is reliant on support from Council along with sponsorship and donations. The monthly cost to deliver one book to a child is $9.
In the past 12 months the Tamworth program has been supported by West Tamworth League Club, Regional Australia Bank, Tamworth First Light Rotary Club, Tamworth Lioness Club, Rotary Club of Tamworth West, Country Women’s Association – Evening Group and Wests Entertainment Group.
“I would like to thank all new and returning sponsors for their generous support towards the program,” said Cr Murray.
“We would not be able to run the program without donations from local businesses and community groups.”
Tamworth program ambassador and multiple Golden Guitar winner Ashleigh Dallas said she is excited to see the program grow from strength to strength.
“My own daughter Harriet was one of the first to sign up in our Region, and now at 20 months old – it’s clear to see the program has really helped develop a love and interests in books,” she said.
Internationally acclaimed singer songwriter Dolly Parton started the Imagination Library as part of her Dollywood Foundation charity. Each month enrolled children up to the age of five receive an age-appropriate book at no cost of their families.