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Last Updated: Friday, 30 November 2007, 17:32 GMT
Dolly Parton has Rotherham dream
Dolly Parton
The singer said it was her "dream" to help children read
Country star Dolly Parton will jet into South Yorkshire to launch a scheme she devised to improve children's literacy.

The American singing legend set up the Imagination Library in her native East Tennessee to encourage youngsters to read more.

Council chiefs in Rotherham have taken a leaf out of the singer's book and are introducing the method locally.

Parton will launch the first UK Imagination Library at the town's Magna centre on 5 December.

The Imagination Library involves posting children a new book every month until the age of five.

Dolly's dream

It has spread to 45 US states and is funded by the singer's Dollywood Foundation.

The music star said she was inspired to set up the scheme because of her experiences as a child.

She said: "Literacy was a real problem in Tennessee and I saw first hand the lifelong struggle that resulted from many of my friends and neighbours and the effect it had on them.

"Ever since that time, my dream has been for every child to have a library of books that their parents can read to them from the moment they are born until they start school."

Dr Sonia Sharp, from the council's children's services, said fresh initiatives were needed to transform educational standards.

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