United Way invites community to sponsor children to receive free books

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — March is National Reading Month, and United Way of Southwest Michigan is encouraging the community to rally around early childhood literacy by sponsoring 200 children to participate in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library for five years.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library serves children from birth through age 5 to help them develop early literacy skills, foster a love of reading, and be prepared to enter kindergarten. Children enrolled in DPIL receive a specially selected age-appropriate book mailed to their home each month until their fifth birthday. This program not only affects kindergarten readiness, but it also makes a big impact on third-grade reading proficiency.

DPIL is provided free of charge to all children under the age of 5 and their families, regardless of income. However, the cost for United Way to provide this program is $25 per child per year.

Everyone is invited to sponsor one or more children to participate in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, United Way officials said.

Residents can:

  • Sponsor a child for one year, providing 12 books — $25
  • Sponsor a child for three years, providing 36 books — $75
  • Sponsor a child for the whole program, five years, providing 60 books — $125

United Way’s goal for this March campaign is the sponsorship of 200 children for the full five years.

United Way offers sponsors the opportunity to honor or remember someone special in their lives with their sponsorship.

To sponsor, visit uwsm.org/DPIL.

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