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Ballarat Imagination Library

DONATE-NOWWhen you help a child TO READ you help a child TO DREAM


United Way Ballarat’s BALLARAT READS program has brought the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to Ballarat.

The idea is simple: mail EVERY CHILD in Ballarat, EVERY MONTH, an age appropriate BOOK especially chosen for their age and developmental stage, for the first FIVE YEARS of their life so that when they get to school, books are already a part of their life.

The research is clear; children who have books around them before they get to school will SUCCEED. Children who have no books, without the love of reading, start the race behind and they NEVER catch up…

The program is FREE for parents or guardians to enrol ANY child, regardless of income living in the 3350, 3351, 3352, 3355, 3356, 3357 post codes. 

The money to pay for the books and postage is raised by the COMMUNITY through United Way Ballarat and it costs just $84 per child per year.  That’s only $7 a month to put a quality book into the hands of a child here in our community

So help us to make Ballarat a READING city, where the LOVE OF READING leads to learning which leads to SUCCESS FOR OUR CHILDREN, for OUR CITY and for OUR FUTURE.

UW Dolly Banner v4How it works

United Way Ballarat’s Ballarat Reads program, in partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Penguin Books and local community partners, will deliver high-quality books to homes each month for kids aged birth to 5yrs.  In addition, it will provide support and resources to families as well as community events to make reading fun and engaging for children!

Enrolling your child is easy! Simply click here


After enrolling, you will receive an e-mail (or SMS) confirming our receipt of your child’s Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library book-a-month program registration and providing information regarding the enrolment activation status.

Your child’s Imagination Library books will begin arriving in your home six to eight weeks after your enrolment has been activated, and will continue every month until your child turns five.

With the arrival of the first book, your child will experience the joy of finding his/her very own book in the mailbox – and spending quality time reading with you and other family members. The last Imagination Library book will be mailed to your child during the month he or she turns five.

Just imagine: If you enrol when your child is first born, by age five your child will have received 60 Imagination Library books!

This program is a FREE GIFT to your child and you will NEVER receive a bill for the books. All that’s expected is that you will read to your child every day – anywhere anytime to support your child’s early literacy and language development in readiness for school. Funding to provide the free books comes from grants, sponsorship, and private donations. If you know of a business, organisation, or individual who would like to donate funds to support this gift to children in your area, please let them know that they may do so by visiting our “Get Involved” page on this website.





Ballarat Imagination Library – Update

posted by pmckee, 21 Jun 2016

After two and a half years of the Ballarat Imagination Library in Ballarat, we have mailed 9, 788 books to local children, giving them the opportunity to develop a love for reading and readiness for school.   Some other statistics are below: 445 Children currently receiving Ballarat Imagination Library books each month   145 Children …read more


Ballarat Imagination Library at Springfest

posted by pmckee, 21 Dec 2015

The Ballarat Imagination Library again provided a reading corner and book swap as part of the Children’s Wunderfest area at the Springfest Market Day. The area also hosted: The Ballarat East Men’s Shed, who helped children create wooden plant holders The York Street Church of Christ, who helped children create Christmas cards Masters, who helped …read more


Tip Sheets July, August, September

posted by pmckee, 22 Sep 2015

 SEPTEMBER 2015 TIP SHEETS Books Include: Peepo, Peppa Pig Georges First Day, Slinki Malinki Early Bird, Who Sank the Boat, Mister Seahorse and The Bunyip of Berkerleys Creek AUGUST 2015 TIP SHEETS Books include: My First Truck, My Little Carry Books Tractors, Hippopotamus Eating Cake , Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley, Wanted The Pefect Pet and The-True-Story-of-Three-Little-Pigs JULY 2015 TIP …read more

BALLARAT READS rev for ppt

223 More Children to receive books

posted by pmckee, 10 Aug 2015

A significant new funding stream for United Way Ballarat’s Imagination Library was officially announced on Thursday night, July 23. A major contributor to many of the issues facing our community is low literacy.  Tackling that issue at the grass roots, by providing the means for families to embrace reading from birth, is the aim of the …read more


June Reading Tips 2015

posted by pmckee, 17 Jun 2015

 Click on the images below to download tip sheets for the June Books.

Rug up 1

Book nook and swap on again at the Rug Up Ballarat winter festival

posted by pmckee, 03 Jun 2015

The Rug Up Ballarat winter festival is on again 20-21 June, 10.00am – 4pm at the Mining Exchange. The Ballarat Imagination Library will feature again in a cosy corner where children can sit and read a story with their parent. Children can bring a book to swap for another or even just select a book …read more


Will you help turn the statistics around?

posted by pmckee, 03 Jun 2015

Did you know that nearly 49% of people over 15 in Ballarat are unable to read beyond the level of around grade 4? That means that in a world full of forms, and so called “fine print” 49% of our community are not able to clearly understand the meaning of what they may be signing. …read more


May Reading Tips

posted by pmckee, 28 May 2015

 Click on the images below to download tip sheets for the May books.  


April Reading Tips

posted by pmckee, 13 May 2015

 Click on the images below to download tip sheets for the April books.  


March Reading Tips

posted by pmckee, 18 Mar 2015

 Click on the images below to download tip sheets for the March Books.


February Reading Tips

posted by pmckee, 23 Feb 2015

 Click on the images below to download tip sheets for the February Books.


January Reading Tips

posted by pmckee, 05 Feb 2015

 Click on the images below to download tip sheets for the January Books.


December Reading Tips

posted by pmckee, 18 Dec 2014

 Click on the images below to download tip sheets for the December Books.  


November Reading Tips

posted by pmckee, 28 Nov 2014

 Click on the images below to download tip sheets for the November Books.  


October Reading Tips

posted by pmckee, 31 Oct 2014

 Click on the images below to download tip sheets for the October Books.  




United Way Ballarat is working to advance the common good of our community by focusing on Education, Income and Health.  These are the building blocks for a good life—a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement, and good health.  United Way Ballarat asks all the citizens of Ballarat and surrounding areas to do three things: GIVE – money and goods; ADVOCATE – on behalf of those who cannot; and VOLUNTEER – to invest time in our community More about United Way Ballarat


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