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United Way Giveaway Hits 100,000 Books To Danbury Kids

The United Way of Western Connecticut celebrates mailing its 100,000th free book to children in Danbury.
The United Way of Western Connecticut celebrates mailing its 100,000th free book to children in Danbury. Photo Credit: File

DANBURY, Conn. — United Way of Western Connecticut is proud to announce a significant milestone this month with the 100,000th Imagination Library book delivery to Danbury children.

This early literacy program provides a new book each month to every enrolled child from birth to age five at no cost to families, eliminating the financial barrier of book ownership that low-income families often face. This program gives families the opportunity to own children’s books, many for the first time.

Connecticut has the widest education achievement gap in the country. Currently, 46 percent of children do not have the skills they need to start kindergarten. Programs like Imagination Library can help combat our educational achievement gap before it starts by ensuring that children have access to quality reading materials, cultivating critical reading skills, and encouraging parents/caregivers to read aloud with their children at home.

UWWC brought Imagination Library to Connecticut in 2008. Since then, the program has grown to nine additional communities, with an overall enrollment of over 8,600 children and 190,000 total books. Imagine the excitement each month as children receive the gift of a new book addressed to them by name! The UWWC Imagination Library program is now available in 10 communities across Western Connecticut: Bethel, Bridgewater, Danbury, Kent, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Stamford, Warren and Washington.

“United Way of Western Connecticut has embraced the true spirit of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library,” said Christy Crouse, regional director of The Dollywood Foundation.

“This wonderful organization understands how a seemingly small gift of a book to a child can open the door to a world of educational, economic, and interpersonal successes. The Dollywood Foundation is honored to be affiliated with such an exemplary organization and looks forward to our continued partnership together. Dolly says it best when she says, ‘If a book makes a child feel special, the child will feel books are special’.”

Although there is no cost to a family to enroll, every $33 donation sponsors an annual 12-volume set of high-quality, age-appropriate books delivered to each child by name. A $165 gift sustains a child from birth until his or her fifth birthday. To enroll or sponsor a child, please visit www.uwwesternct.org/ImaginationLibrary .

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