Dolly delivers in D24 – some 200,000 books gifted to local children
Marion Gillooly, Executive Director, The Dollywood Foundation UK presented Elliott (4), Ezra (4mths) and mum Catriona with a signed photo of Dolly Parton, to celebrate the 200,000th Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library book delivered in Dublin 24 Photo by Conor Healy

Dolly delivers in D24 – some 200,000 books gifted to local children

AN AMAZING 200,000 books from the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library have been delivered to children up to five years since it started in 2019 in the Dublin 24 area.

This book gifting programme, run by The Childhood Development Initiative (CDI), provides a free book each month for every child registered, from birth to five years, at no cost to parents.

The Childhood Development Initiative, which is based next to St Mark’s Community Centre, works in schools and pre-schools in Tallaght directly with children and families.

They also deliver professional development programmes. The CDI works to improve outcomes for children, families and communities in Tallaght and throughout Ireland.

On Tuesday, at an event in Russell Building at Tallaght Cross, called ‘Being With’ – The Essence of Emotional Regulation Institute of Population Health, to celebrate the delivery of the books, Georgina Moore, HSE Primary care, Psychology said: “It’s really interesting to hear about the positive impact of children being gifted a physical book as opposed to reading online.

“This is especially true for children who wouldn’t normally get books as gifts.”

Mum Catriona, and sons Elliott (4) and Ezra (4 months) from Belgard helped celebrate the 200,000th Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library book delivered to Tallaght children.

Mum Catriona said: “There is great excitement in the house when the children see the postman. He arrives every month with three separate envelopes with each child’s name on them. Elliott says: “I love getting an envelope with my name on it.”

Three children in the house get the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library books, Elliott (4), Theodore (3) and Ezra (4 months).

The books are aimed at different ages and in the past their sister Linda (7) and brother Harrison (9) also received the books, so the family have a long history with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

The books get read straight away and shared out among the family

The significance of reading books from birth is highlighted by Dr Marion Gillooly, Executive Director, The Dollywood Foundation UK.

Marion says: “When a parent reads with their baby, they are in the moment, giving their full attention, and showing interest not only in the book but in the baby, and the baby starts to associate reading with a sense of being cared for and loved.”