May 1st, 2018
Longview, WA-United Way of Cowlitz & Wahkiakum Counties proudly announced and launched Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library today. The initial public announcement occurred at United Way’s annual stakeholders event this morning, where the first Cowlitz County and Wahkiakum County children to be registered were acknowledged.
The program, considered a world class product for childhood success and achieving Kindergarten readiness will really fill a niche in our community as it provides free, brand new age appropriate books for children ages birth-5 years old residing in Cowlitz or Wahkiakum Counties. Parents simply go to the United Way website www.cowlitzunitedway.org and they can sign their child up for books that get delivered right to their door every month until their child’s fifth birthday.
Studies have shown increased interest in reading, promotion of the home literacy environment and family engagement in parents reading with children in this program. Research has also shown higher Kindergarten Readiness Assessment scores for children participating in this program vs. non-participants.
“We are so ecstatic to bring this program to the early learners in Cowlitz & Wahkiakum Counties, being the first United Way in Washington State to become the community affiliate, and we are so grateful for the amazing support of our founding program sponsors, Rotary Clubs of Cowlitz County! With their partnership, we will equip our young kids with opportunities to dream, imagine, learn and be set-up for success in their academic journey,” said United Way Executive Director, Brooke Fisher-Clark.
Dolly Parton was celebrated at the Library of Congress in early March for distributing her one hundred millionth book! Cowlitz & Wahkiakum Counties will be part of making that number continue to go up!
Registration is always available on the United Way website, www.cowlitzunitedway.org, or there will be in-person registration events throughout the year. The first is Monday, May 7th from 5-7 p.m. at the Longview Public Library for parents or guardians to bring children in to register. Check the United Way website for future in-person registration dates.
“We will make this program a success with all of our community members…from the United States Postal Service member who delivers the books to children’s homes, to hospital and medical staff who could hand a new parent a registration form, to our early childhood educators and providers who could inform parents of the importance of spending time with their children reading, to our business sector who could spread the word, or tell just one early learners family of this great opportunity,” said Fisher-Clark.