Whitehaven continues support for Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program

Dolly Parton Imagination Library is inspiring a love of reading in Australian children.
Dolly Parton Imagination Library is inspiring a love of reading in Australian children.

Much-loved community initiative, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, is set to continue providing free access to books for children across the Narrabri region after securing funding support from the local community and businesses, including Whitehaven Coal.

The free book gifting program is dedicated to inspiring children to love reading from an early age. Each month, enrolled children from birth to age five receive a high-quality, age-appropriate book in the mail, free of charge.

Since its inception in Narrabri in 2022, the program has gifted free books to 271 children in the Shire.

The Narrabri program initially received funding from the NSW Government, however, recently, the Narrabri Shire Council announced that funding for new enrolments would cease from 1 July 2024, prompting a swift response from local authorities to ensure the program’s ongoing sustainability.

Council began discussions with the community and local businesses in early March 2024 and within just a month, the necessary funds were secured for the next fiscal year.

Whitehaven Coal community engagement general manager Darren Swain says the program is essential to the future success of the community.

“Early literacy lays the foundation for lifelong success; that’s why we champion initiatives like Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library,” he said.

“This early exposure helps develop crucial language skills, sparks curiosity, and sets the stage for a lifetime of educational achievement.”

Whitehaven’s support for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library is evidence of the company’s commitment to delivering tangible benefits for regional communities and is part of their $4.35m contribution to community causes and initiatives in FY23.

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library program gifts children a book in the mail every month.
The Dolly Parton Imagination Library program gifts children a book in the mail every month.

Council expressed its gratitude and enthusiasm for the overwhelming support, emphasising the importance of the program to the local community.

A Council spokesperson says the program is game changing for Narrabri youth.

“This is a huge result as this program affects the lives of our youth, ensuring they have the best opportunities possible,” the spokesperson said.

“It is so great to see community and businesses supporting a project that makes a tangible difference to young people’s lives.

“This truly is a game changer in so many ways.

“We are not just talking about education; we are talking about our future.”

The Council has declared that securing support for this program will be an ongoing effort and has called on the entire community to rally behind it.

For further information or to find out how you can help support this Library Program, contact the Narrabri Shire’s Libraries Coordinator on (02) 6799 6866.

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