INVESTMENT IN THE FUTURE OF LOCAL CHILDREN MADE IN MEMORY AND HONOR OF THE TEACHERS AND STAFF OF AUS

16-Dec-2015

INVESTMENT IN THE FUTURE OF LOCAL CHILDREN

MADE IN MEMORY AND HONOR OF THE TEACHERS AND STAFF

OF AUSTIN TRACY ELEMENTARY

(Lucas, Kentucky) – On December 16, 2015, Austin Tracy Elementary in Barren County was officially adopted into United Way’s Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program in memory and honor of the teachers and staff of Austin Tracy Elementary. Made possible from a generous donation by the Stacey Johnson and Stefan R. Hughes Family, all children currently attending programs at Austin Tracy Elementary under the age of five will be enrolled in United Way’s Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program.  Upon enrollment into the program, each child will receive one book per month mailed directly to their home until they reach the age of 5, at no cost to the family.  In an additional act of kindness, the Stacey Johnson and Stefan R. Hughes Family will provide for all children under the age of five who enroll in programs at Austin Tracy Elementary in future years to also be enrolled into the program.

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library was initiated in east Tennessee in 1995 by Dolly Parton and since inception, over 45 million books have been distributed to children across three countries. Recognizing the need to strengthen and support early literacy efforts and to ensure all young children get the best start possible, United Way of Southern Kentucky adopted Dolly Parton's Imagination Library in 2011. The first book mailed to each child is “The Little Engine That Could” and upon graduating the program, the month the child turns 5, they receive “Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come.”  Support of the Imagination Library from generous contributions like those made by the Stacey Johnson and Stefan R. Hughes Family help to ensure children in our communities have access to books, thereby increasing their chance for future success.   

Austin Tracy holds a special place for me as I spent 8 years of my formal education at this school. The teachers and staff gave me an excellent education and encouraged me that I could achieve anything. I believe that this early education has been the foundation for my success in life. This small gift to Austin Tracy is to honor those individuals and the wonderful start in life Austin Tracy gave to me. Hopefully, this gift will play a role in the early education of future students at Austin Tracy and ensure their success as well.”  said Stacey (Johnson) Hughes, family spokesperson.

United Way’s Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library increases the accessibility of books in all households, regardless of income.  When books are accessible in the home, children gain an appreciation for reading and are better prepared for kindergarten. The program is designed to build a stronger community by ensuring all children have access to the essential tools to build stronger literacy skills. Thus far, more than 78,000 books have been mailed to over 4,500 children across Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, and Warren Counties.

For more information on how you can make the choice to LIVE UNITED through giving, advocating and volunteering, log on to the United Way of Southern Kentucky website at www.liveunitedtoday.com.  

United Way of Southern Kentucky (UWSK) is a local, independent, non-profit organization that works to identify and address the issues that matter most, change conditions and improve lives in our community. United Way is focused on the building blocks for good quality of life – Education, Income, Health and Safety Net. Incorporated as a charitable non-profit entity in 1956, UWSK has long served a major role in the community by bringing people together to create opportunities that make a measurable difference in the quality of life for people where they live and work. The mission of United Way of Southern Kentucky is to be the leader in bringing together the resources to build a stronger, more caring community.