Dolly Parton and her Imagination Library are providing free books to every child born in the South London borough of Southwark until the end of the year.

Every child born in the borough until December 2016 will receive one book a month until they turn five years old.

“Five thousand kids will in 2016 start getting a new book every month,” said Dolly. “This is a really big deal for you and for me. My hope is that one day every kid in London will be part of the Imagination Library and when that day arrives we can all look back and say it started right here. Now let’s have some fun.”

Dolly launched the Imagination Library in 1995 to provide books to kids in Sevier County, TN, but the charity was so successful that it soon went global. Since the initial program launch in the United States, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has gone from just a few dozen books to over 60,000,000 books mailed to children in the United States, into Canada and the United Kingdom.

“We are delighted to be working with her to give free books to the youngest residents in our borough,” said Southwark councillor Peter John. “With many families still feeling the pinch it has never been so important to ensure that children have access to books so they can learn and develop as much possible in their early years… This scheme will… allow children and families to start building up a library of their very own.”

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