MP’s praise for book scheme

MP John Healey speaking to parents of children enrolled in the Imagination Library, on a visit to Rawmarsh Children's Centre.
MP John Healey speaking to parents of children enrolled in the Imagination Library, on a visit to Rawmarsh Children's Centre.
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A SCHEME which provides free books for children is ‘inspirational’ and should be extended, MP John Healey has said.

The Labour MP for Wentworth and Dearne gave the highest of praise to Rotherham’s Imagination Library as he spoke at a debate he secured in Parliament on early reading.

He said reading at home gave children the best start in life and urged ministers to extend the scheme to children who ‘face the biggest hurdles’ – those in care, those with parents in the armed forces, and babies born to mums in prison.

Mr Healey said he was proud the country’s first Imagination Library was set up in Rotherham. It was launched in 2008 and now has 13,600 children – nine out of every 10 in the borough – signed up.

Mr Healey said: “It fires a desire in the child to read.”

Schools minister Nick Gibb has promised to visit Rotherham to see the scheme in action.