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TCUW to Launch Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program Locally

LEWISTON, Idaho – To help pre-school children in Asotin and Nez Perce counties with their reading skills, Twin County United Way will start the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program on Oct. 3.

Families in either county with children from birth up to five years old will have the opportunity to enroll their children in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library free book program. TCUW will serve as the local affiliate for the program, providing age-appropriate books each month to eligible children, at no cost to the family.

“Our biggest education goal is to have students reading at grade level by third grade,” said Suzanne Johnson, TCUW’s Chief Executive Officer. “Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a wonderful program that allows children to receive a free book in the mail once a month until they turn 5.”

For the program, the state of Washington pays for 50 percent of the costs for books, TCUW will cover the other 50 percent to provide the free books. In Idaho, no such program exists but TCUW will cover the expense, thanks to the local program’s sponsorship by P1FCU.

Johnson said TCUW has been busy partnering with other organizations to inform the community about the program. Families can register their children to receive free books beginning Oct. 3 by visiting www.tcuw.org/.

Dolly Parton’s inspiration behind creating the Imagination Library in 1995 in her home state of Tennessee can be attributed to her father and his inability to read. Inspiring kids to love to read became her mission and to-date, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has gifted over 188 million books to children in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and the Republic of Ireland. The impact of the Imagination Library has been widely researched and results suggest positive increases in key early childhood literacy metrics.

According to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library administrators, children who are registered for the Imagination Library will receive a high quality, age-appropriate book in the mail each month addressed specifically to them. Each book is carefully selected to meet the different developmental needs of children as they progress from birth to age five. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library books are inclusive and promote themes that are positive and inspirational. Books can be obtained in English and/or Spanish.

The first book in the series a child will receive is ‘The Little Engine That Could’, and upon graduating out of the Imagination Library program on their fifth birthday, children receive the book ‘Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come’. Twin County United Way is dedicated to helping children reach their full potential and ensuring
school-age children are prepared to enter Kindergarten with the skills to succeed.

TCUW operates a five-week Kindergarten Readiness program each summer to help kindergarten-age children with academic and social skills so they are ready to begin Kindergarten classes in the fall. This past summer, the Kindergarten Readiness program was held in Lewiston, Clarkston, Asotin and Lapwai.

For more information on the launch of the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library locally or TCUW’s Kindergarten Readiness program, contact Johnson at either 208-743-6594 or email her at sjohnson@tcuw.org.