The United Way of Clark, Champaign & Madison County holds annual fundraisers – Power of the Purse – in each county to benefit the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Funds raised in each county benefit the children of that county.
Champaign County’s third annual fundraiser will be held 5:30-9 p.m. Thursday, May 14, at Pretty Prairie Farm, 4440 Prairie Road. Advance tickets are $40 at www.uwccmc.org and at-the-door tickets will be $45.
In 2017, the local United Way chapter began a partnership with the Imagination Library. Since that time over 72,000 books have been mailed to children in the three-county area. This has been made possible through the generosity of United Way donors, partnerships with local organizations, libraries, schools and literacy advocates.
The Imagination Library provides an enrolled child with a free, age-appropriate book mailed in the child’s name to the home address monthly. Children between the ages of newborn to 5 years old now can be registered at https://bit.ly/2QAv9LU
Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine have combined efforts with local communities, United Way and the Imagination Library, to expand the program throughout the state.
“Brain science shows the first years of a child’s life are the most important,” said Fran DeWine. “Mike and I are passionate about bringing the program to every Ohio child who is eligible in every county and every zip code. The program is completely free to all children who are registered. We know it’ll make a difference, because it’s something we’ve seen for years firsthand reading to our kids and grandkids.”
The local United Way chapter will receive a dollar for dollar match through the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library.
While the program is free to all registered children and there are no income guidelines to enroll, the yearly cost to fund a child is $25. The United Way chapter goal is to raise the matching funds necessary to expand the program.
Kerry Lee Pedraza, executive director of the United Way chapter, said this program is about more than literacy. “Children are our next generation of workers and this ultimately results in a workforce development issue,” she said.
Information provided by United Way of Clark, Champaign and Madison Counties.