Free books scheme that helps youngsters learn to read expands to Midland Road area of Bradford

Scheme founder Jan Winter (second adult from left) is joined by mums including TV news presenter Nicola Rees (second adult from right) at the launch of the Midland Road books project

Scheme founder Jan Winter (second adult from left) is joined by mums including TV news presenter Nicola Rees (second adult from right) at the launch of the Midland Road books project

First published in News
Last updated
Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

A children’s charity which has already given away 3,000 books in the city has expanded to a new area of Bradford.

Canterbury Imagine already provides free books for under-fives on the Canterbury estate, and for the district’s children in the care of the local authority.

And it has now started a new scheme based around Midland Road nursery school and children’s centre in Bateman Street, Manningham.

Sharon Hogan, head teacher at Midland Road nursery school, said the free books and sessions at the centre would encourage parents and carers to enjoy sharing books with their babies.

She said: “A key aim of our work as a nursery school and children’s centre is to try to ensure that parents have the right support so that they can be involved in their children’s learning. Books provide the opportunity for parents to support young children’s development in so many different ways so governors are thrilled that Midland Road is part of the expansion of Canterbury Imagine.”

Babies born this year in the Midland Road area will be registered.

Canterbury Imagine started in September 2012, and last October expanded to include all children in council care. In only 18 months it has registered almost 350 children to its two schemes, providing 3,000 free books in the process.

It is affiliated to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, the scheme set up by the country singer, and is the first Imagination Library in West Yorkshire. Representatives from the charity hope to meet the country singer when she plays the Leeds Arena in June.

Run by Jan Winter, the charity aims to help to improve literacy, emotional development, educational attainment and life chances for this group of children, with youngsters receiving a free book through the post, addressed to the child, from birth until their fifth birthday.

Canterbury Imagine has also this month received a grant from Sovereign Health Care to help as it expands its work.

Mrs Winter said: “Building a love of reading early in the lives of children will pay dividends as they progress through school and into adult life.”

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