Story Starters

Life is better when everyone can read well and express themselves with confidence. Story Starters is a new programme that gives children aged three to five years old the language and communication skills they need to start school ready to learn and all set to reach for the stars. 

Story Starters was made possible by players of People’s Postcode LotteryWe received £1 million from the People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund to deliver Story Starters from January 2017 through to March 2019. Due to it's success the programme continues to be delivered to settings across England. 

Story Starters

  • Become a Story Starter

    By becoming a Story Starter volunteer you will give a child in a local early years setting the skills to start primary school ready to read. Read more

  • Become a Story Starter setting

    Find out more about becoming a Story Starters setting. Read more


  • Dolly Parton

    Dolly Parton

    “Beanstalk and my Imagination Library have joined together to launch a special program which will help children become more ready to read and to learn. We call it Story Starters. We send books into the children’s homes and our caring volunteers work one-to-one with the children to give them the extra support they need with their reading. We need you to help us make a lifelong difference in a child’s life so please apply to be a Story Starter. Let’s make sure their stories have a happy ending!”

  • Baroness Floella Benjamin, OBE DL 

    “I always say ‘childhood lasts a lifetime’ so children need the right kind of encouragement and support in their early years to help them reach their full potential. That’s why I’m proud to promote Story Starters to start children off on the right track. Story Starters provide one-to-one learning support to pre-school children so they start primary school with language and communication skills, a fired up imagination and a lifelong enthusiasm for books, that mean they are more “ready to read”.” If you would like to make a lasting difference to a child’s life, then apply to become a Story Starter today and make a difference!”

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