Charity run by Dolly Parton which gifts books to kids to launch in Ireland

A charity set up by country singer Dolly Parton is to launch in Ireland later today.

Her 'Imagination Library' charity gifts books to children across the world to help children develop a love of reading.

This is the first time the scheme will be available in Ireland, with a pilot scheme being rolled out in Tallaght in Dublin before being extended nationwide later in the year.

CEO of Childhood Development Initiative, Marian Quinn, explains how it works.

"Any child who is registered gets a free book delivered to their home every single month until their fifth birthday, so from the time they are born until their fifth birthday, children who are registered will get a free book that is age appropriate, chosen carefully, and some of the books have a special letter from Dolly in them," she said.

Ms Quinn says the scheme, which will eventually be rolled out nationwide, is about quality time as much as reading.

"It's actually also reminding parents and people caring for children that we all need a bit of downtime and we all need ten minutes on the sofa cuddled up on the sofa looking at the pictures and talking about what we can see in the book.

"I think that's just as important to give parents and families some nice quiet time together," she said.

Launching the project, Dolly Parton called on parents in Dublin 24 to take advantage of the opportunity and get their children reading.

“You can never get enough books into the hands of young children," she said.

I know there are children in Ireland with their own dreams – the dream of becoming a doctor, an inventor, or a teacher.

"Who knows, maybe a writer, or singer. The seeds of these dreams can often be found in books and the seeds planted in a community can grow across the world,” she said.

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