United Way of Northwest Louisiana is hosting a Bookfair at Barnes & Noble on Tuesday, Nov. 28 to promote early childhood literacy and encourage a love of reading in children. An in-store event will be held Tuesday, Nov. 28 featuring complimentary gift wrapping and Santa’s Story Time, all part of #GivingTuesday.

On #GivingTuesday in-store shoppers at Barnes & Noble (6646 Youree Drive in Shreveport) can mention United Way NWLA at checkout for United Way NWLA to receive a portion of the sale. Online shoppers can participate beginning #GivingTuesday through Dec. 2, and choose “Check this box if it is a bookfair order” and enter code 12183547. All proceeds from the event and online sales will benefit local children through the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program, a program of United Way NWLA.

Forty-nine percent of children in Northwest Louisiana enter kindergarten unprepared. United Way NWLA’s partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) works to fight this statistic. When a child has access to books, their world becomes larger and their imagination soars. United Way NWLA wants more kids to 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. By the time he goes to kindergarten, he’ll have his own library of 60 books.

Research shows that the number of books in a child’s home is significantly linked to reading scores. The more books, the better the score. The program is available in six zip codes in Caddo and Bossier Parishes and all of DeSoto Parish, Red River Parish, and Natchitoches Parish. Sponsoring a child is only $30 per year, or $150 sponsors a child for all five years.

The in-store events on Tuesday, Nov. 28 includes a visit from Santa Claus, who will read to children every 30 minutes between 2pm and 4pm, pictures with Santa, DPIL registration for children birth to five in participating zip codes, and complimentary gift wrap from 12pm – 6pm. Holiday shoppers can also support DPIL by purchasing books from United Way’s Barnes & Noble Wish List:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/account/wishlist.jsp?giftlistId=gl20391659029.

#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.

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