What is the Dolly Parton Imagination Library?
United Way strongly supports both Early Childhood Education and Youth Development so that children will make a successful transition to adulthood. This is done with a focus on improving the quality of early childhood and after-school programs, promoting early literacy, increasing access to health and nutrition services, supporting parent education, increasing the capacity of out-of-school time programs, promoting healthy lifestyle education for teens and enhancing community awareness of the importance of quality care and education.
The Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) is a book gifting program that is paid for by investors that pay $30/year per child. This $2.50/month investment per child delivers a high-quality, age-appropriate book directly to the enrolled child’s home to help build the child’s personal library.
- The child will continue to receive a book as long as there are sufficient sponsors
- The child continues to live in Pinal County and is under the age of 5.
The United Way of Pinal County has developed a partnership with the Pinal Gila Head Start offices, the Easter Seals Blake Foundation and the United Way’s Friends Family and Neighbors Program (FFN) to assist in the recruitment of eligible children aged 0-5 in outlying areas of Pinal County where libraries may be a challenge for some families to access and stores with high-quality books may be hard to find. As the program funding continues to increase so does the service area.
- Check out this cool Parent Resource guide on the DPIL. Click here
- Check out the birth to age 5 guide. Click here
- Curious about what books are available? Click here
Current Areas of Focus
- Copper Corridor
- Arizona City
- San Tan Valley
The initial program funding came from the net proceeds from the annual Golf Tournament held at the end of April each year at the Robson Ranch Golf Course. This last April enough funds were raised to support 750 children in this program.
According to First Things First and Dolly Parton Imagination Library calculations, there are approximately 25,000 children countywide that could potentially benefit from this program.
“The United Way of Pinal County Board of Directors has chosen Third Grade Reading attainment as an area of focus. In Pinal County, about 30% of 3rd graders don’t meet the current reading standards. It is interesting to note that 30% of high schoolers don’t graduate. Is there a relationship? The Board of Directors feels there is” said Executive Director Manuela Bowler.
The local United Way believes that the Dolly Parton Imagination Library is one tool that can help children arrive at Kindergarten more prepared for success. The first five years are most important in laying down a solid foundation and future K-16 system success is greatly impacted by the quality educational experiences a young child is exposed to.
Susan Fender, the Community Development Director for the Pinal Gila Community Child Services, said “Putting books in the hands of very young children is critical to emphasizing the importance of reading. Reading is a foundation skill children need to master to be successful in school and beyond. Supporting the Dolly Parton Imagination Library is just one-way interested adults can promote the opportunity of success for children in their community.”
You can sponsor a child’s subscription to the Dolly Parton Library by texting UWPC to 71777 to donate or designate the UWPC Dolly Parton Library in your workplace giving campaign form.
Click here to view the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Website.
Contact the United Way of Pinal County at 520-836-0736 for more information.