Monday, April 22, 2024

United Way of Northwest Louisiana Surpasses Fundraising Goal for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

by BIZ Magazine

Shreveport, LA – United Way of Northwest Louisiana (UWNWLA) has achieved remarkable success by exceeding its year-end fundraising target, raising a total of $70,000 to bolster its educational initiative, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The funds garnered will support the enrollment of 2,000 children in Northwest Louisiana for the upcoming year.

The campaign, launched on November 7, 2023, marked the second consecutive year that UWNWLA focused its year-end giving efforts on the Imagination Library. This program, in collaboration with generous patrons, mails a free, age-appropriate book each month to children aged from birth to five, providing essential social and developmental tools crucial for success in both school and life.

A significant contribution to this success came from approximately 43 donors who joined the United Way Book Club, offering their support to the Imagination Library. A notable boost was received through a $25,000 grant from AEP SWEPCO and an additional $7,700 grant from the City of Natchitoches, enhancing the program’s reach and impact.

In Louisiana, where 27% of adults are considered illiterate, and two-thirds of fifth-grade children unable to read proficiently face a challenging future, UWNWLA is actively working to make a lasting impact on literacy in Northwest Louisiana. Beyond focusing solely on children’s homes, UWNWLA, with the support of donors, aims to extend its influence further.

Donors who joined the Book Club are facilitating the provision of Imagination Library books to underserved Pre-K classrooms, ensuring literacy development both at home and in school. The initiative also allows UWNWLA to organize parent workshops, teaching parents effective reading techniques and supplying them with valuable resource materials. Furthermore, donations are instrumental in keeping parents connected with the program until their children reach kindergarten, providing monthly activities related to the books received.

LaToria W. Thomas, President & CEO of UWNWLA, expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support, emphasizing the shared vision of going beyond placing books in homes. The additional steps taken by donors help ensure interactive experiences that foster language and literacy development.

While celebrating the success of the recent campaign, UWNWLA acknowledges the need for a more significant effort. To enroll all 33,000 children who could benefit from the Imagination Library in the organization’s ten-parish region, UWNWLA is setting a larger goal of $600,000. An anonymous donor has pledged a $5,000 match if the community can raise an additional $5,000 for the program. In a further boost, International Paper has committed to a $5,000 match through a partnership with Champions for Literacy, potentially providing a total of $10,000 and enabling 285 more students to enroll.

To support this initiative or learn more, visit United Way Book Club.

To enroll a child in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, visit Imagination Library Enrollment.

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