United Way receives Rotary grant for library

United Way of Greater Augusta announces collaboration between United Way and the Rotary Club of Staunton for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library from the District Rotary #7570 in the amount of $3,000, which will be matched by the Staunton Rotary Foundation with an additional $3,000.

The funding will cover an addition of 200 children to the Imagination Library, a preschool literacy program targeting local families. The program seeks to ensure that each child entering school has an equal chance of becoming a successful student, by providing free books in the mail starting at the earliest age possible.

“In a recently completed Community Assessment through our Smart Beginnings coalition, a need to support early literacy with our youngest children was identified. One way of addressing that need is to increase families’ accessibility to high quality, child engaging literature. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library fills this need,” said Stacie Jackson of Infant & Toddler Connection of Staunton-Waynesboro. “It is a joy to visit a family after their first book has arrived and celebrate with them the thrill of owning their own book which for many, is the first time!”

The Anne E. Casey Foundation and Harvard University recently released reports stating that, to counter low literacy levels, children need to have high quality learning opportunities. This process needs to begin at birth and continue in school and during out-of-school time, including summers, in order to sustain learning gains and not lose ground.

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