First babies in Goondiwindi Region receive free books direct from Dolly
First babies in Goondiwindi Region receive free books direct from Dolly

First babies in Goondiwindi Region receive free books direct from Dolly

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The first babies in the Goondiwindi Region have now received their free books to help develop a lifelong love of reading as part of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Australia.

In partnership with Goondiwindi Regional Council, the Imagination Library has delivered the first copies of high-quality, age-appropriate books such as Five Little Platypuses and Roo Knows Blue to registered children in the Goondiwindi Region.

Cr Phil O’Shea, who holds Council’s portfolio for Arts, is asking for community assistance to ensure that every one of the 150 children born and living in our region each year is able to receive free books through the program from birth to age five to help inspire a love of reading.

“The Imagination Library, in partnership with Council, puts books into the hands of local children, at no cost to the child’s family,” Cr O’Shea said. “The local program is operated largely by volunteers with some administrative assistance from Council and Care Goondiwindi – but all funds for the books need to be raised locally.

“For just $9 a month, people can help a local child access quality books at home to help prepare them for school and inspire them to dream,” he said.

“It’s less than 2 cups of coffee a month – and could make all the difference to a local child.”

The Imagination Library delivers one book each month to registered children from birth to age five. Any child born after 1 March 2022 currently residing in the Goondiwindi Local Government Area will be eligible to join, regardless of where they were born. Local hospitals will help new parents to sign up for the program during postnatal care, or else parents can find the registration form online here:

Council has agreed to contribute $5,400 per year towards the program and is asking locals to join them in sponsorship to help bring the magic of a library into the home.

Businesses or individuals can sign up to sponsor the program here:

“We are seeking corporate support and, through the help of Care Goondiwindi, can make donations completely tax deductible,” Cr O’Shea said. “If you are a business or have a corporate gifting program, there are many local children and families who would really appreciate your support,” he said.

“Perhaps there are also grandparents or parents wanting to pay forward the gesture to another young family – so please, give it some thought.”

The investment for each new child enrolled in the program is just $9 per month - $108 per year, or $540 for the full five years of the program. The donation is tax-deductible.

Recent studies suggest participation in the Imagination Library program is positively and significantly associated with higher measures of early language and math development.

Program founder Dolly Parton has said that the Imagination Library aims to inspire children and help turn their dreams into the promise of a bright future. The Imagination Library mails more than 1.8 million high-quality books each month and, since launching in 1995, it's gifted well over 160 million free books.

14th September 2022 at 12:00 AM