BRIDGEWATER, CT - United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWC) is proud to announce the expansion of Imagination Library, its early childhood literacy program, into the Bridgewater community. The launch was held at the Burnham Library in conjunction with their annual Gingerbread House Workshop on Saturday, December 7.
Imagination Library, a partnership between UWWC and the Dolly Parton Foundation, provides a free age-appropriate book every month to children up to their fifth birthday. Since its launch in 2008, UWWCT has helped to put more than 130,000 books into the hands of nearly 7,000 preschool children.
“On the first day of kindergarten, an achievement gap already exists,” said Kim Morgan, chief executive officer of UWWC. “And studies have shown that it becomes more and more difficult to close that gap as children progress through the school system if they have not had early reading experiences.”
Imagination Library helps provide those experiences. Here’s what families enrolled in the program reported:
· As a result of receiving Imagination Library books, 99% of parents surveyed said that they read at least 3 times per week to their children.
· 95% of surveyed parents report that their child(ren)’s interest and enthusiasm for books has increased.
· “Thank you! As a mom and educator I feel that this service is wonderful and provides kids with early exposure to literature. It develops a lifelong love of reading in children.”
“We are thrilled to be launching this important program in the Bridgewater community,” said Monet Borione, Imagination Library coordinator at UWWC. “We would like to thank Sandy Neary and Jean Kallay of the Burnham Library, and the Friends of the Library, for providing vital community support for this program.”
Bridgewater parents can register for Imagination Library by visiting the Burnham Library or online at www.uwwesternct.org. Currently, children in Bethel, Bridgewater, Danbury, Kent, Newtown, New Fairfield, New Milford and Stamford are eligible.
This program is provided at no cost to families, so every child can receive these books, regardless of their family’s income. At a cost of only $30 per child per year, donors can pay for a child to receive a full library from birth through five for an investment of only $150. Donations can elect to stay within a particular community, so donors know their investment will make a difference to a child in their neighborhood.
To learn more about Imagination Library or to sponsor a child, you can call United Way at 203-792-5330.