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100k book from UK Imagination Library

Dolly Parton explained: It’s my dream that every child has a library of books which their parents can read to them from the moment they are born

Wigtownshire boy says Hello to Dolly’s Special Delivery

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is celebrating the delivery of the 100,000th book through its UK programme.

Four year old Thomas Donkin from Wigtownshire received the very special delivery, which included a personal letter from Dolly herself, from postman Alan McColm this week. In her letter to Thomas Dolly explained: “I love books and the adventures they bring; and it is my hope that children everywhere would be able to enjoy the fun that books offer.”

Children in Wigtown were some of the first in the UK to become part of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library - launched in the UK in December 2007 by the music star to encourage a love of reading in pre-school children. Its roll out in the UK built on the educational programmes resounding success in the US and Canada, where it has now delivered over 22 million books.

Thomas’ father Chris Donkin commented: “It’s a great scheme. We all look forward to the monthly arrival of Thomas’ books from the Imagination Library and share in enjoying the tales they contain. This month’s delivery was of course particularly special as it contained a letter from Dolly herself.”

Children in Wigtown have been receiving books through the scheme, which is part-funded and run by the organisers of the Wigtown Book Festival, since April 2008. Stena Line Wigtown Book Festival event spokeswoman Catherine Campbell said: "We are all absolutely delighted that a child from the Wigtown area received the 100,000th book, especially as it coincides with the start of this year’s annual book festival.”

“The festival runs 25th September to 4th October, with over 180 events taking place including a full children’s programme, so we’ll certainly be taking time to celebrate the book’s arrival.”

Since Dolly launched the library in the UK, the Imagination Library has been adopted by communities across the UK. Dolly Parton explained: It’s my dream that every child has a library of books which their parents can read to them from the moment they are born. I’m really excited that we’ve now shared 100,000 books with kids in the UK.”

Dolly Parton launched the scheme in her home county of Sevier, Tennessee, in 1996. The scheme works by local sponsors paying for children in their community to receive the books. In 2007 Rotherham Council became the first UK authority to join the Imagination Library, which is part of Ms Parton’s umbrella charity, the Dollywood Foundation, with more communities signing up in the past 18 months.

Anyone wishing to find out more about how they can work with the Imagination Library and bring it to pre-school children in their area should visit, contact or call 07984 346 592.

Issued on behalf of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library by:

Ruth Barker
Four Countries Communications
Tel: 0207 7499219/07912 648654

Notes to editors:
The Stena Line Wigtown Book Festival is in its 11th year. It's the biggest book festival in Scotland outside of Edinburgh or Glasgow with more than 180 events over 10 days in venues around the town from a main marquee with a capacity of 380 to smaller venues holding 25 people. The Festival takes place in an ancient market town on the Galloway coast beside the Solway Firth, surrounded by beautiful countryside. Wigtown is Scotland's National Book Town - a sort of Hay-on-Wye with a kilt on - there are more than 20 bookshops and book-related businesses in town.
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