Marathon effort to help provide free books for local kids in need

The 33rd Hastings Half Marathon will take place on Sunday March 19.
The 33rd Hastings Half Marathon will take place on Sunday March 19.
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People keen to shed a few pounds after Christmas are being urged to Join the Hastings Half Marathon Dolly dash to raise cash for a local children’s book charity.

Imagine Nation is a charity which currently provides books to children living in supported accommodation in St Leonards but aims to provide books to all pre-school children in Hastings and St Leonards.

The charity is hoping to sign up 100 runners or walkers to take part in the Hastings Half Marathon on Sunday March 19 to help promote their work and raise funds.

They are offering to pay the registration fee if runners raise £160 or more and this amount will also fund 60 books which equates to one child receiving a carefully selected, age appropriate book every month from birth to the age of five.

The aim is for every child to build their own personal library and there is evidence to show that the greater the number of books owned by a child, the better their educational outcome, employment prospects and even health in the future.

Imagine Nation is affiliated with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which was launched in her American home town in Tennessee in 1995 when she realised the benefits that her father would have had if he were not illiterate.

As a result there will be a Dolly theme on the day, with some runners opting to don Dolly wigs and boobs.

In addition, Sarah Jayne, a Dolly Parton tribute act, will be performing and entertaining runners and spectators alike.

Since the launch in the UK in 2007, 28,000 children have been signed up and 1.7 million books sent out.

Books are selected by a panel of experts in early learning and literacy and are published by Penguin Random House.

Each child in the scheme from the age of 0-5 will build up a library of 60 books.

Studies on the effect of children in the scheme have shown that it drastically improves early literacy and school readiness has increased dramatically.

To get involved, contact Annalise at books@imagine-nation.uk. To find out more about Imagine Nation: www.imagine-nation.uk.

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