Country megastar Dolly Parton has praised the ‘kind folks’ of Doncaster - after a world-beating number of youngsters signed up to her free book scheme.
A total of 2920 youngsters aged from 0 to five registered to receive free books from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in the first week of the scheme.
This number is the highest amount of registrations the programme has ever had in the first week at a new location - beating some of the world’s biggest cities.
In total, 8560 children have registered to the scheme in Doncaster since it launched earlier this year.
Dolly Parton, who has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, said: “I am amazed and very thankful for the commitment and dedication shown by the kind folks in Doncaster - enrolling almost 3,000 children in one week is the fastest sign up the Dollywood Foundation has ever seen worldwide. Keep up the hard work!”
The Dolly Parton Imagination Library delivers a new free book every month to every child who signs up. The first book to be delivered in Doncaster is the Tale of Peter Rabbit, with future titles including Peppa Pig and Funny Bones set to follow in the coming months.
The programme will be running in Doncaster for the next three years.
Councillor Nuala Fennelly, cabinet member for children, young people and schools at Doncaster Council, said: “The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is an excellent scheme, which we hope will help with the development of local children.
“I am very proud of the fact that we have had a world-beating number of registrations for these free books, emphasising the encouraging local appetite for programmes like this.
“I hope even more young people will sign up for this great scheme, and continue to enjoy their reading time.”
For more information and to register for free monthly books visit the website at www.doncaster.gov.uk/freebooks