Incredible growth is happening throughout Washington to expand Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to every county in the state. With the recent addition of two regions achieving full coverage, Yakima and Garfield counties, Washington now has twenty-three fully covered counties bringing free monthly books to over 28,000 kids.
“We are excited to expand the Imagination Library across all of Yakima County! Our United Way is committed to overcoming inter-generational poverty by collaboratively building resilience and closing the opportunity gap in the lives of our youth in Central Washington and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has proven to help overcome those barriers and build resiliency in our youth. Books open the doors to all types of possibilities, especially in the hands of young children. One of the most important things we can do to improve literacy in our County is to give our children access to books early on in their development. We are proud to provide all pre-K children in Yakima and Kittitas Counties with this amazing resource to prepare them for success,” stated Ivan Orozco, Community Engagement Manager at United Way of Central Washington.
As momentum continues to build across the state, the goal of achieving 150,000 kids enrolled in the Imagination Library in Washington (ILWA) by June of 2023 is well within reach. According to The Dollywood Foundation, Washington is on track to take the national record for the fastest state to complete coverage, if state coverage is completed by year-end 2022.
Over the past six months, Washington has had the amazing opportunity to onboard many new program affiliates who are working tirelessly to boost enrollment and build excitement amongst families, organizations, and leaders in their local communities. Those affiliates include Chelan Douglas Child Services Association (serving Chelan and Douglas counties), United Way of Whatcom County (serving Whatcom County), Goodwin Connections (serving Des Moines, WA), United Way of Whitman County (serving Whitman County), United Way of Kitsap County (serving Kitsap County), and United Way of Central Washington (expanding coverage to all Kittitas County).
Prospecting for new state affiliates to close coverage gaps has continued to be successful, with several organizations launching coverage in the summer months. New program heroes will be announced as they activate coverage, so stay tuned to our social media and website for updates.
“The journey to uplift Washington children has been so fun and fulfilling to the Imagination Library of Washington team. We are working hard to activate new state coverage all the time, as we know this is an in-demand, desired early learning tool. We are focused on ensuring families are informed of the program once it reaches their area and are working to support local affiliates throughout the state to ensure their success and stability,” stated ILWA Executive Director, Brooke Fisher-Clark.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library mails high quality, age-appropriate books each month to children from birth to five years old, free to the family. This early literacy program is proven to achieve equitable access to books, increase school readiness, foster a love of reading and books, and improve family engagement.
To check availability and enroll your child for free books, visit www.imaginationlibrarywashington.org. Check back often to stay up to date on state expansion progress.
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