(Many, LA) – United Way of Northwest Louisiana is fighting for early childhood education across all of Northwest Louisiana. This week, the nonprofit celebrates the launch of their program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in all of Sabine Parish.

This nationally recognized program provides every child who enrolls with an age appropriate book each month. The book is mailed to their home, creating their own personal library of 60 books over five years. It inspires families to read more frequently to their children and catalyzes the community to invest more time, talent and treasures to better prepare children for kindergarten. This early childhood literacy program aims to foster a love of reading to preschool age children and helps prepare them for kindergarten success.

Thirty-four percent of children in Sabine Parish entering kindergarten are unprepared and 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. United Way NWLA fights for all to have a better education, and this education-driven partnership with Atmos Energy will help to fight and reverse this statistic.

“Atmos Energy supports education programs which enrich the quality of life in our communities. This project is new and exciting and Atmos Energy, through our sponsorship with United Way NWLA, will provide reading materials to the young children of Sabine Parish,” said Ann Hayward Manager of Public Affairs with Atmos Energy. “Making a positive impact in education is part of what Atmos Energy does as a natural gas company and we look forward to this continued partnership.”

Parents of children from birth to age five, living anywhere in Sabine Parish, will register their children to participate in this free program.

“Community change doesn’t happen alone,” said Dr. Bruce Willson, President and CEO of United Way NWLA. “Sabine Parish has a very supportive community and this is just one example of how United Way NWLA and other community partners unite to fight for education.”

Atmos Energy has funded the program to be available to all children living in Sabine parish under the age of five. Funding through Atmos Energy is guaranteed for the next three years.

Click here to register your child in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library online.