West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper kick-started her plans to launch a Dolly Parton Imagination Library for West Lancashire at the country legends concert at the Liverpool Echo Arena on Sunday 8 June 2014. Armed with buckets, Rosie and volunteers were on hand to accept donations from fans as they arrived for the first concert of Dolly Parton’s UK tour.
The Dolly Parton Imagination Library was created, by the singer, to encourage children to learn to read, dream and improve their educational opportunities. It works by providing age appropriate free books delivered to the child at home every month from birth until they are five years old.
Although there is no cost to the child or their family it costs £25 per year per child for each registered child which is raised by supporters.
The children’s classic, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, is the first book that a child will receive with a personal message from Dolly Parton inside.
MP Rosie was supported at the event by a 25 person strong team of volunteer collectors with community activists, local businessmen, County and Borough Councillors from both Labour and Conservative parties, Edge Hill University Students Union, and friends. They collected over £600 in one hour before the concert started. With additional donations, a total of £815 was raised to kickstart the Dolly Parton Library in West Lancashire before the fundraising activity begins in earnest.
Ahead of the concert MP Rosie met with Dolly Parton who later on stage referenced the start of the newest Dolly Parton Imagination Library in West Lancashire to a sold out arena on the first leg of her Blue Smoke World Tour.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said after the meeting:
“Launching a Dolly Parton Imagination Library in West Lancashire has been my ambition for some time. In my opinion this programme will make an amazing difference, enriching so many children’s lives and perhaps even their parent’s lives.
“I believe learning, investing in children’s futures and opening up a world of opportunities is so important for children. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is a brilliant, cost effective way to help our children learn, achieve, and enjoy brighter,
more fulfilling lives.
“I would encourage everyone who believes in their children, family and community to join us and ensure this goodwill is harnessed for the benefit of all West Lancashire’s children.
“To get Dolly Parton’s personal seal of approval for the scheme here in West Lancashire and to kickstart our fundraising at one of her concerts is absolutely fantastic.
“This is just the start!
“In the coming weeks, months and years I am determined to make our Dolly Parton Imagination Library in West Lancashire one of the most successful in the country.
“I want to thank each of the volunteers who gave their time freely to turn up with their collection buckets. To have so many people get behind the scheme so early shows they recognise the difference we can make to local children’s lives in
making these books available.
“We know literacy and numeracy skills are the key to unlocking a world of opportunities and possibilities for children that will affect the choices available to them throughout their lifetime. Therefore, this scheme goes beyond a love of reading as a pastime.
“In working with Edge Hill University I want to build a scheme in West Lancashire in which getting the book through the door is just the start. We want to get children and their families involved in various events and activities across the area as part of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in West Lancashire.
“For example, reading groups in our local libraries. We need to be working with families, schools, Sure Start Centre’s and community groups who all have an important role in making this scheme a success in West Lancashire.
“I want the whole of West Lancashire to get involved whether that is registering children to receive the books, donating to the scheme, holding a fundraising event or volunteering to be involved."
To find out more information please call Rosie Cooper MP on 01695 570094 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Speaking after the event Dolly Parton said:
“I had a wonderful time at the show in Liverpool. It put a great big smile on my face to know everyone had so much fun. What makes it even better is knowing that the Imagination Library is growing again –this time in West Lancashire. They told me before the show they have big plans to grow the programme so I hope enough people pitch in to make their dreams come true!”
In the coming weeks MP Rosie Cooper will be holding an official West Lancashire launch event for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library of West Lancashire to continue the fundraising to reach the target of £200,000 that will ensure all children in West Lancashire can get involved in the programme.