(Shreveport, LA) – United Way of Northwest Louisiana (UWNWLA) is launching the United Way Book Club to gain support in an effort to expand Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library into Louisiana’s poorest zip code, 71103. The expansion of the Imagination Library will provide books to more children across Northwest Louisiana, giving them the social and developmental tools necessary to be successful in school and in life.
As the largest provider in the state, UWNWLA enables the Imagination Library to mail out a new, age-appropriate book each month to children’s homes at zero cost to the children’s families. Children can be enrolled in the program at birth and own a library of up to 60 books by the time they enter kindergarten.
“I absolutely love this program and encourage everyone to sign up for it,” said Chelsea Truong, parent of child enrolled in the Imagination Library. “My son is developing a love for reading because of this program, and even though he cannot read (yet!), he loves to show off his book, sit somewhere alone with his book, and open his book and turn to each page while pointing at the print and saying proudly, ‘read a book!’.”
Thanks to the generosity of our community, UWNWLA has mailed more than 300,000 books since the program began in 2012. However, children in our most underserved areas are still without access to books. These children are a part of families whom we call ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). ALICE represents the growing number of individuals and families who work hard but are still unable to afford their essential needs. The children of ALICE are especially affected when it comes to the lack of books in their homes because books are often viewed as a luxury when other family necessities are going unmet.
“When children do not have access to the resources they need to thrive, we all are affected,” said UWNWLA President & CEO LaToria Thomas. “Those children grow up to be adults who earn lower wages, have poorer health outcomes, struggle to pay bills, and rely more on public financial aid. We must build a stronger foundation for our youngest students in order to have a positive impact on them and our community.”
To put more books in the hands of children in Northwest Louisiana, UWNWLA is asking our community to join the United Way Book Club by giving at one of the levels listed below before December 31. New Book Club members will receive a limited-edition bookmark, and those that give $50 or more before November 30 will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win an autographed copy of Dolly Parton’s book, Coat of Many Colors. UWNWLA will draw for the winning name on Wednesday, November 30.
Book Worms ($250 or less) – sponsors up to 5 children in the program
Page Turners ($251 – $499) – sponsors 5-9 children in the program
Storytellers ($500 – $999) – sponsors 10-19 children in the program
Novelists ($1,000 – $4,999) – sponsors 20 -100 children in the program
UNITED WAY BOOK CLUB SPONSORS
To view the full list of sponsorship benefits, please visit https://unitedwaynwla.org/united-way-book-club/. Please contact Tori Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Patrons ($5,000) – sponsors 100-200 children in the program
Scholars ($10,000) – sponsors 200-500 children in the program
Curators ($25,000) – sponsors 500 -1,000 children in the program
The Librarian ($50,000) – sponsors 1,000 children in the program
To give today, please visit https://unitedwaynwla.org/united-way-book-club/.