Council opens a new chapter for young readers

Edinburgh Looked After Children are set to receive a brand new book every month, until they are five, as part of a city wide initiative to support children in the City of Edinburgh’s care.

All children in care under 5 years old will receive their first book by July. The books will be posted out to them each month, helping them build up their very own library.

The range of books provided is selected by a panel of experts on children's literacy ensuring that they are appropriate for their age and stage of learning.

Councillor Paul Godzik, Convener for Children and Families said: "Reading is a vital part of all children's early years education and can significantly benefit their language and writing skills. This initiative will give a helping hand to these children,  ensuring that they have the best possible start in life."

The initiative is part of a book scheme, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, being sponspored by the Scottish Government.

The Imagination Library was originally set up by the entertainer Dolly Parton, through her Dollywood Foundation, to encourage young children to learn to read in her local community of Sevier County, Tennessee. This model has now been rolled out across the world to great success.

The City of Edinburgh Council  has a responsibility to act as the corporate parent of the young people in its care, by providing them with the support and assistance they need. This could range from helping them to find suitable employment or training, to making sure they don't miss out on experiences such as concerts that other children in the city enjoy.

In March, the Council launched a new Corporate Parenting Action Plan to offer greater support to children and young people who are cared for by the Council.

The plan has been developed with young people and a number of Council services and partner agencies to ensure that Looked After Children have access to the same opportunities as others throughout Edinburgh.

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