Keighley Imagination Library

Children aged up to five in the wards of Keighley East, West and Central can be signed up to receive a FREE age-appropriate book every month, delivered to them at home and addressed to them personally.

The books include traditional stories and rhymes, books by well-known authors and illustrators and a mix of non-fiction and newly published titles. If a child is signed up from birth to their fifth birthday they will end the project with a library of 60 books.

Why is Keighley Imagination Library needed?

Just over 50% of children in Keighley achieve the expected level in reading, writing and English by the time they leave primary school. Currently, anecdotally, some young people in Keighley (with English as their first language and with no diagnosed additional needs) are reaching high school without the ability to read.

Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than family circumstances, parents’ educational backgrounds or income.

Even just looking at pictures and sharing a book together for 10 minutes a day increases bonding between families and the literacy levels of children, making them better prepared for school and ensuring they have better life chances.

That’s why Dick Ballantine, the executive head teacher of Parkwood Primary School, Cllr Caroline Firth, and former councillor Adrian Farley launched Keighley Imagination Library (part of the worldwide Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library project) in July 2021.

Our steering group includes partners such as schools, midwives, children’s centres, Keighley College, Strong Close Nursery School, Keighley Schools Together and KAWACC – which can all sign up children to the scheme with parental consent.

What difference will Keighley Imagination Library make?

We aim to increase the number of children who are ready to learn when they reach school at reception stage. Our scheme is expected to improve not only their results, but also their personal skills, self-esteem, closeness to their parents/carers, and to improve their parents’/carers’ own reading and social skills. This will in turn potentially improve the job prospects and confidence of young people later in life.If you have recently signed up to Keighley Imagination Library, please help us find out how we’re making a difference by filling out a quick survey.

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