Schools have welcomed a literacy scheme inspired by US country music legend Dolly Parton, which has been launched in the Isle this week.
Parents with pre-school children are already signing up to the scheme which could give 60 free books each to children.
A six month pilot scheme of The Imagination Library project, which aims to get all Isle children under-five reading, was launched at Crowle Childrens Centre. All children aged up to five are eligible to register.
During the launch presentation, the children from Crowle Primary Academy and St Norbert’s Primary were given free copies of the children’s classic the Tale of Peter Rabbit and showed off their reading skills.
Foundation stage manager at St Norbert’s School, Julie Green, said: “It is a real opportunity for all pre-school children to have free books every month, to help promote reading at home and giving them a good start.
“We were invited to attend with group of nursery children, whose parents all signed up for the scheme. We took along five-year-old Georgina Healer who read an extract from the book to show how a love of books can develop children’s independent reading.
“Georgina has been reading since she was in the nursery and can read confidently with expression.”
Each month a book will be posted to the child’s home address. Children of the same age will receive the same book so it makes arranging reading sessions easy to arrange.
Reading and craft sessions will be organised to go with the topic of the book and complement storytelling activity in the home. Parents will be able to attend regular sessions at children’s centres.
Promoting the scheme, Dolly Parton said: “I know times are hard and decisions about money are tough, but I am sure that every pound and pence we invest in our young children will be the best investment we will ever make.”
MP, Andrew Percy, who presented children with their first books at the launch said: “The Imagination Library scheme will make a massive difference to the lives of young people throughout North Lincolnshire.
“I am impressed with how North Lincolnshire Council has taken up this scheme.”
Cabinet member for people, Coun Rob Waltham added: “We would love to meet Dolly in person - she has an open invitation to visit the Isle any time she wants.”