More than 5,000 children sign up for free book scheme in first year

By Mary Dennehy

THIS day last year, a free book-gifting scheme called Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library launched in Dublin 24.

A year down the line and more than 5,000 children (75 per cent of all 0 – 5 year olds living locally) have signed up.

DPIL One Year on 1 compressor

The scheme is being run in Dublin 24 by the Tallaght-based Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) to encourage local children’s reading.

Each child signed up to Dolly’s Imagination Library every month receives a free, high quality book to keep until they are five.

The books are addressed to the child and posted directly to their home each month, with all children under the age of five in each household receiving different, age-appropriate books.

Speaking on the first anniversary of the scheme in Dublin 24, Emma Reilly, the programme co-ordinator with CDI, said: “An estimated 75 per cent (5,331) of children aged 0-5 years in Dublin 24 have received, or are currently receiving books. 

“Together with the support of An Post and Tusla, 33,108 books have been delivered during the past year.

“We are so grateful to the local postmen and postwomen who have helped to get all of these books into the hands of more children.”

DPIL One Year on 2 compressor

Parents living in Dublin 24 can still sign their children up to the CDI scheme here Imagination Library

Ms Reilly also highlighted the need for corporate and public support to sustain the programme into the future.

“CDI is the affiliate for the [Dolly Parton] Imagination Library [DPIL]  here in Ireland”, Ms O’ Reilly said.

“DPIL provides the book ordering system, the branding and the ability to buy books at cost price. CDI, supported by Tusla, buys the books at cost and coordinates programme delivery.

 “We will be commencing a major fundraising campaign in the coming weeks and months, looking for corporate and individual sponsorship.

DPIL One Year on 4 compressor

“€5 is the cost of two books per month.

CDI is grateful to Shamrock Rovers Football Club which is actively promoting it in the Tallaght and surrounding community and also to The Rotary Club.

 “Given this success we are also supporting the expansion of the programme to other parts of the country and exciting announcements are expected soon.”

CDI is a non-profit organisation working to improve outcomes for children in disadvantaged communities in Ireland.

Established in 2004 in Tallaght, CDI designs, delivers and evaluates prevention and early intervention programmes for children in literacy, health, speech and language, parenting, and conflict prevention. 

 More information is at the CDI Website

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