Bendigo Bank announces partnership with Imagination Library to support child literacy development
Bendigo Bank has announced it will donate $60,000 - over the next three years - to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to help provide every Bendigo child up to age five with access to books in an effort to support local child literacy.
The Imagination Library was established by the Dolly Parton Foundation. Under the auspices of Uniting Way in Australia, the program came to Bendigo in 2016 and has supported the development of reading and language skills of local children from 0 to 5 years old before they start primary school education.
The program consists of a monthly, age-suitable book sent to children enrolled in the program, as well as support and guidance to the parents. There are almost 250 children currently participating in the program with many more on the waiting list, and it is these children who will be the focus. The additional funding from Bendigo Bank will be spent directly on the enrolment of Bendigo children in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program.
Justine Minne, State Manager Regional Victoria and Tasmania, Bendigo Bank, said the new partnership will help and support hundreds of Bendigo children to grow and develop their reading proficiency levels.
"Our Bank's purpose is to feed into community prosperity, not off it and our engagement with the education sector strictly follows this philosophy," Ms Minne said.
"This is a wonderful initiative and one everyone at the Bank is very supportive of. The additional funding will help those children currently on waiting lists to gain access to reading materials quicker, so they can improve their literacy levels ahead of their transition into the formal education system."
Maria Simpson, Chair of Bendigo Education City, is hoping the leadership shown by Bendigo Bank will open the door for other businesses to support the Imagination Library program.
"We are seeking business sponsorship so that all children who need support can have access to these resources and have the opportunity to develop invaluable skills. This fantastic support by Bendigo Bank will make a difference in the lives of hundreds of children and families in local areas of need."
The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is supported through donations. The cost of donating one book for a child is $9 per month. To learn more about getting involved or donating to this initiative, visit the Imagination Library Bendigo website at www.bendigoreads.com.au/imagination-library
To donate, visit www.givenow.com.au/imaginationlibrarybendigo