Dolly Parton Imagination Library coming to Pinal County

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The United Way of Pinal County Board of Directors  at their Feb. 18  general board meeting unanimously approved the implementation of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library as a new United Way program. This new effort is one part of a long-term strategy to help improve Pinal County high school graduation rates, according to a press release.

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is an early-year’s book-gifting program that mails a brand new, age-appropriate book to enrolled children every month from birth until age 5, creating a home library of up to 60 books and instilling a love of books and reading from an early age.

“This program is one of the most important ways I know to improve educational opportunities for children in your community,” Ms. Parton said on the program website.

The effort was initially launched in 1995 in her hometown county in east Tennessee and by the year 2000 the program had grown so much that the initiative went nationwide. There are 872,476 children nationwide ages 0-5 registered in this program.

“We spend the first eight years of our life learning to read so that we can spend the rest of our life reading to learn” said Manuela Bowler, the United Way of Pinal County executive director, said in the release. “The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is a proactive community effort in addressing kindergarten readiness, passing third-grade reading tests and successfully completing high school and moving on prepared for secondary schooling. Strong reading skills are a must in order to compete in our high tech world. The United Way of Pinal County staff will now begin the work of developing an implementation plan and securing funding for this new initiative.”

The United Way of Pinal County is a nonprofit organization that brings people and communities together to advance the common good through services that improve lives.  The organization partners with local nonprofits, businesses and government and social service agencies, to address the communities’ most pressing needs.

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