Earlier this year Hagan Homes, one of Northern Ireland’s largest homebuilders, pledged £75,000 to bring country singer Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library scheme to 1,000 children in partnership with Sure Start centres in Belfast.
The children receive a free age-appropriate book in the post every month to support the development of early language and literacy skills and inspire a lifelong love of reading.
Now, in recognition of the challenges that parents face due to restricted movement during the Covid-19 pandemic, Dolly Parton will be reading a children’s book at bedtime on The Imagination Library official social channels for the next ten weeks.
Kicking off tomorrow, Friday 3 April 2020, Dolly will deliver her story with the programme available across the Imagination Library, Dolly Parton, World Choice Investments, and Dollywood channels. The read alongs will be a personal gift from Dolly to all families.
Encouraging parents to access the resource, James Hagan, Chairman of Hagan Homes and a Local Champion for the Imagination Library says:
“We believe in investing in communities and in building community capacity. Strong communities are the bedrock of a strong society. We want to empower individuals to believe in their own potential and to achieve all that they can. Encouraging people to read and fostering creativity from an early age, is an extremely important part of this process.
“We’re delighted to be actively supporting Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The ‘Goodnight With Dolly’ initiative will provide parents with a resource to make life a little easier at the moment. With lots of parents homeschooling their children it can be really useful to know that there will be age appropriate content which they can watch with their children which is fun and entertaining.”
‘Goodnight With Dolly’ will feature Dolly Parton reading a series of Imagination Library books all carefully chosen for their appropriate content at this moment in time. Dolly will welcome the viewers and introduce the title, author and illustrator.
Snuggled in bed with her Imagination Library book, Dolly will share stories that are just right for this moment in time. The readings will be a mixture of Dolly and the interior pages of the books. The books will include “There’s a Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake” by Loren Long, “Llama Llama Red Pajama” by Anna Dewdney, “I Am a Rainbow” by Dolly Parton, “Pass It On” by Sophy Henn, “Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon” by Patty Lovell, “Violet the Pilot” by Steve Breen, “Max & The Tag-Along Moon” by Floyd Cooper , “Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt de la Peña, “Coat of Many Colors” by Dolly Parton, and of course “The Little Engine That Could” by Watty Piper.
Discussing ‘Goodnight With Dolly’ Dolly Parton said:
“This is something I have been wanting to do for quite a while, but the timing never felt quite right. I think it is pretty clear that now is the time to share a story and to share some love. It is an honour for me to share the incredible talent of these authors and illustrators. They make us smile, they make us laugh and they make us think.”
To access the official Imagination Library YouTube Channel visit https://imaginationlibrary.com/goodnight-with-dolly/
The Imagination Library, which was set up by the star in the UK in 2007 as the flagship programme of the Dollywood Foundation, sees thousands of children from birth to five years of age around the UK receive a free age-appropriate book in the post every month to support the development of early language and literacy skills, and inspire a lifelong love of reading. Since inception in 1995, the Imagination Library has gifted more than 135 million books to children, in partnership with local organisations and communities, and is currently gifting books to 1.5 million children around the world each month.