A LIBRARY created by country legend Dolly Parton has been launched in Castlemilk to encourage kids to read.

The Imagination Library has been brought to youngsters in the area thanks to funding from Ardenglen and Craigdale housing associations. The scheme is designed to get kids reading.

All youngsters aged from birth to five who sign up will now get a book sent to them free of charge in the post each month after the housing associations put up the funding. The launch coincided with International Literacy Day.

Two hundred and thirty children whose parents or guardians are tenants of housing associations are already signed up to the scheme and it is hoped to extend this across the city.

Audrey Simpson, Chief Executive of Ardenglen Housing Association said: “We know that having access to books from a young age is important and can have a positive impact for a child such as developing language skills, improved concentration and encouraging a thirst for knowledge.

“When we heard about the Dolly Patron Imagination Library, we were blown away by the project and the impact it could have on Castlemilk youngsters but then realised it was not available. We set about changing that.

“We also recognise that investing in young people is really important and believe the Imagination Library is a great way to support our pre-schoolers.”

Anne Marie Brown, Director of Craigdale Housing Association, added: “We are delighted to work in conjunction with Ardenglen and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to give the children of our community the opportunity to grow their imaginations from a young age."

Kirsteen Watson Regional Director for The Dollywood Foundation UK said: “Momentum is really building in Glasgow and we are thrilled to welcome the two housing associations from Castlemilk on board. I am absolutely sure that Dolly will be delighted too. She is committed to ensuring the Imagination Library plays a key role in the development and education of children.”