Story Starters is a new programme that has been made possible by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. It will make a life-changing difference to the lives of 1,800 nursery children through the support of over 500 volunteers by 2019, ensuring that they start primary school ready to read.

Launching initially in the North West of England, we will be spreading across the country in the next two years so please make sure to register your interest as a Story Starter volunteer or a nursery.

Trained Story Starter volunteers will provide caring and fun one-to-one support to a child in a local nursery, aiding their language development and introducing them to the magic of stories.  

Along with the trained, caring support provided by Story Starter volunteers, each child will receive high-quality resources from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library so that they can enjoy the magic of stories at home.

Story Starters is a collaborative project between Beanstalk, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, and LuCiD (University of Liverpool). Each partner brings their own skills and experience, meaning that we have specialists leading on each aspect of Story Starters.

  • Beanstalk is a national children’s literacy charity which will recruit, train, and support Story Starter volunteers.
  • Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library will provide every Story Starter child with high-quality, professionally selected, age-appropriate books. These books will be sent directly to the home of each Story Starter child, ensuring that they can enjoy the magic of stories at home.
  • LuCiD is a project based at the University of Liverpool to help transform our understanding of how children learn through language and communication. They’ll be providing ground-breaking research and evaluation to help ensure that Story Starters is having the best possible impact in making sure young children start school ready to read.

Story Starters has been made possible by players of People's Postcode lottery. People's Postcode Lottery Dream Fund chose Story Starters to receive £1 million in funding in January 2017.