United Way of Northwest Louisiana is promoting the love of reading and giving books to children on #GivingTuesday, November 29, 2016. For only $30, a child can be sponsored to receive this gift – 12 books for one year. Or $150 will sponsor a child for all five years – 60 books.

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season when many people focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. It connects diverse groups of individuals, communities and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.

Fifty-two percent of children in Northwest Louisiana enter kindergarten unprepared. United Way of Northwest Louisiana partnered with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to fight this statistic. When a child has access to books, their world becomes larger and their imagination soars. They are better prepared for school and better prepared for life. United Way wants to help more kids have books in their homes. Through the program, books are delivered directly to the child’s home – one per month – until he’s five years old. That means, by the time he goes to kindergarten, he’ll have his own library of 60 books.

Research has shown that the number of books in a child’s home is significantly linked to reading scores. The more books, the better the score. Imagination Library focuses on area zip codes to give children under five a new book to read every month. The program is available in six zip codes in Caddo and Bossier Parishes, and all of Natchitoches Parish.

To learn more about Imagination library and to see who is eligible, visit unitedwaynwla.org/our-focus/education/dolly-partons-imagination-library/

For nearly 100 years, United Way of Northwest Louisiana has improved lives of individuals by creating opportunities for a better life. The organization focuses efforts on specific goals in Education, Income and Health, while continuing to provide a safety net to ensure that the Basic Needs of individuals in crisis are still met.  United Way of Northwest Louisiana serves agencies throughout a ten parish region. Each United Way organization operates independently of each other and makes decisions at the local level.