DART FOUNDATION PROVIDES $5,000 GRANT TO THE UNITED WAY OF SOUTHERN KENTUCKY’S DOLLY PARTON’S IMAGIN

26-Oct-2016

DART FOUNDATION PROVIDES $5,000 GRANT TO THE UNITED WAY OF SOUTHERN KENTUCKY’S DOLLY PARTON’S IMAGINATION LIBRARY

(October 25, 2016) – United Way of Southern Kentucky announced today that the Dart Foundation granted $5,000 to the United Way of Southern Kentucky’s Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. As a result of this donation, all children currently enrolled at Community Action of Southern Kentucky’s Head Start Program in Hart County will once again be enrolled into the program for the second year in a row.

United Way of Southern Kentucky’s Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program puts books in the hands of local children to assist in fostering a love for reading, better preparing children for kindergarten. All children from newborn to age five are eligible to register for the program in their respective counties thanks to generous donations such as that of the Dart Foundation. Once registered, each child will receive one age-appropriate book mailed directly to their home each month until the age of 5.

“We are grateful for the Dart Foundation’s generosity,” says Keisha Ingram, Director of Community Impact for the United Way of Southern Kentucky. “It is critical to support early literacy efforts and to ensure all young children get the best start possible.”

The library was initiated in east Tennessee in 1995 by Dolly Parton. Since its inception, over 80 million books have been distributed to children across four countries. Thus far, more than 107,000 books have been mailed to nearly 6,000 children across Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe and Warren Counties. 

Research shows that access to age-appropriate reading materials in low-income households is severely insufficient. According to national data, 75 percent of children who are reading below grade level in third grade will remain behind in high school. In addition, children from low-income families are three times more likely to have dropped out of school or be unemployed by the ages of 16-19 because of the educational barriers they encounter. By giving children from all socioeconomic backgrounds the opportunity to develop necessary learning skills, they are getting a boost towards lifelong education success.

The Dart Foundation is a private family foundation established by the late Dart Container Corporation founder William A. Dart and his wife Claire T. Dart. The Foundation supports projects that enhance education, especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math, and those that improve the quality of life in specific communities, including Horse Cave and the surrounding area. 

For more information about United Way of Southern Kentucky’s work in Early Childhood Education, log on to the United Way of Southern Kentucky website at www.liveunitedtoday.com.  

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