It is integral to get our children reading from a young age. Not only are children receiving books from the Dolly’s Imagination Library initiative 28% more likely to start school ready to learn, but they are more likely to enjoy reading. The initiative seeks to close the attainment gap by intervening at an early stage.
The Imagination Library is a brilliant scheme which delivers a free book to children aged 0 to 5 years on a monthly basis. The scheme has reached a milestone with 5,000 children receiving books and more than 150,000 books have been delivered.
In 2018, the Imagination Library initiative was active in 7 wards across the city. Cllr David Mellen smashed his 2018 target of reading to 2,018 children as well as raising £4,456 – over £1,200 more than its original £3,018 target. The 2019 Big Reading Challenge has made similarly excellent progress with an aim of reading to at least 5,000 children between 28th January and 19th March 2019. As of 12th February 2019, £1,651 of a £5,000 target has been raised with 5 weeks to go. Now almost 5,000 children receive a book each month and the DPIL is delivered in 10 of the city’s 20 wards. If you would like more information about the campaign or would like to donate to this worthy cause, please follow this link: https://www.gofundme.com/bigreadingchallenge
Nottingham City Council has introduced other initiatives aiming to promote reading across the city. In November 2018, plans were put through to develop a new Central Library as apart of the Broadmarsh car park development that is equipped for the 21st century, with an ambition of being the best children’s library in the country. A contractor for the project was appointed earlier this month. We hope that the new library and the success of Cllr Mellen’s Big Reading Challenge will consolidate our early years success, with Nottingham placed in the top 10 cities in the country for improvement in learning to read and write through phonics. The Reading Challenge also complements our status as a UNESCO City of Literature, allowing us to transform lives through reading and the arts. There are lots of culture-based events run by the organisation which are taking place over the next few months, ranging from the UK Young Artists’ Takeover (8th-11th February) to talks and book launches. For more information, please follow this link: https://nottinghamcityofliterature.com/