Innovative Book Project Comes To Acton

Local woman inspired by Dolly Parton's imagination library


dolly imagination library


Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

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An Acton woman's following in the footsteps of Dolly Parton and hoping to help improve literacy in children.

Maysa Marques has just launched a new book-gifting project for babies in the South Acton Estates area.

The scheme, known as the South Acton Imagination Library (SAIL), aims to help to improve literacy, emotional development, educational attainment and life chances for children by providing babies born from 2013 onwards - and registered with South Acton Children’s Centre - with one free book a month addressed and posted to them from birth until their fifth birthday.

It's based upon the Dolly Parton Imagination Library set up by the US singer in 1996, and provides a worthwhile way of helping local children get a great start in life, costing just over £2 a month, £25 for a year, or £125 for the whole five years.

The UK’s first such initiative – set up in Rotherham in 2008 - has seen children registered with it showing higher scores on communication skills when they start school, compared with youngsters who were not participating in the scheme.

Parents with babies registered with South Acton Children’s Centre (SACC) interested in joining the scheme are invited to attend to the SACC from February 25. The SACC has offered its full support to the initiative and will be handling registrations on the day.

Founder and local resident Maysa Marques who was born and raised in Brazil and moved to the UK almost 10 years ago said:

“SAIL not only aims to help kids improve their literacy and love reading before they start school, but also to help build strong family relationships through spending time reading together. Having got our first grant to get the scheme off the ground, we’re now keen to hear from businesses and individual donors who might be able to help by sponsoring a child or group of children through to their fifth birthday. We’d also love to hear from individuals who would be interested in becoming a trustee for the scheme.”

Businesses and individuals interested in sponsoring books for a group of children for five years are being asked to get in touch with Ms Marques at

For more information on SAIL visit or email Maysa Marques at


26th February 2014