Our Better Start Imagine project’s official launch event today.
The Lord Mayor of Bradford and the Regional Director of Dolly Parton’s UK strand of the Dollywood Foundation will officially launch Better Start Imagine at Bolling Hall Museum and Library today.
Better Start Imagine will provide a free book per month to every child, born after 1 January 2016, in the Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton areas of Bradford until their fourth birthday, to support literacy skills development.
176 babies have already been signed up to the scheme and will all receive a first free book: The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.
The project is being delivered by BHT Early Education and Training as part of the international Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. It is commissioned by Better Start Bradford and builds upon previous successful delivery of a similar scheme in the Canterbury area of Bradford.
Leanne Souster, Better Start Imagine coordinator, said: “It is never too early to share a book with your baby. When babies are very small, it’s not just about reading but looking at pictures and naming and labelling the illustrations and photos.”
“Through Better Start Imagine, we want to empower the importance of reading to the community. Books are fun and are there to be shared; they boost literacy skills, improve memory and help to develop language and communication in young children.”
Michaela Howell, programme director of Better Start Bradford, says: “We want to make sure children in our part of Bradford and beyond have the best possible start in life, and a big part of that is enabling them to be imaginative and creative, and developing important literacy skills. For that to happen, we are working to make sure families have books in their homes to enjoy with their children.”
The Better Start Imagine is one of 22 projects Better Start Bradford is setting up to support families in giving children in our area the best possible start in life.