City councillor reading to 2,018 Nottingham children to help improve city literacy

City Councillor David Mellen is aiming to read to 2018 children this month. (Photo: nottingham City Council).

A Nottingham city councillor has set himself the task of reading to 2018 local children in January to underline the importance of books in education.

David Mellen, portfolio holder for Early Intervention and Early Years, is also asking for sponsorship money to raise at least £2018 for the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library charity.

The charity delivers free books every month to children until the age of five to encourage them to read and improve literacy skills. The scheme improves children’s literacy levels and is so effective those that take part are 28 per cent, more likely to be ready to start school when they turn five, compared with those not on the project.

Set up in 2009, the scheme is now running in seven of the city’s 20 wards and more than 4,000 children are now registered.

Video: Dolly Parton saying Ey Up Me Duck in her charity’s campaign video

Councillor Mellen’s January diary is packed full of visits to schools, children’s centres, libraries, hospitals and nurseries.

He said: “The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is a charity close to my heart. In Nottingham, too many of our children start school well behind the expected literacy levels.

“This charity ensures every registered child, whatever their family circumstances, receives a book every month. It’s about giving our children the joy of reading.

“Although my challenge is an ambitious one, it is one that I am thoroughly looking forward to. I hope that I am able to raise lots of funds and awareness for this brilliant cause.”

Councillor Mellen’s fundraising page is available at JustGiving.

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