Dolly Parton's Imagination Library books land in mailboxes.
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Delaware County Welcomes Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Nate Rose and his wife Marissa understand the important push for early childhood literacy in Delaware County. The Delaware County parents of two saw a need for getting books into the homes of families, and they took strides to make that happen.

While researching Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program, a program that provides families with a high-quality book every month with no cost to the family, he realized the program was not yet present in this community. The lack of programming ignited a spark and Nate began taking the necessary steps to bring the program to Delaware County. He crunched the numbers and reached out to non-profits in the area in an effort to attract an organization to facilitate the program. It so happens that United Way of Delaware County was also familiar with this opportunity and had been considering the feasibility of bringing it to the community. Seeing Nate's interest, United Way eagerly hopped on board, looking forward to the positive impact Imagination Library would have on early childhood education and their work on the Campaign for Grade Level Reading.

Nate’s children Noelle, 2, and Gus, 6-weeks, are the first two participants receiving Imagination Library books in Delaware County. The children received their first books — The Little Engine That Could — this month and the Rose family is eagerly awaiting their next books, which will arrive in January.  

“Noelle loves [her book],” said Nate. “She loves reading. She saw a brand new book and sat and read the whole thing with me. She was captivated by the pictures!”

All participants receive The Little Engine That Could as their first book. "It symbolizes that even reading well is within our reach when we have a can-do attitude," Jenni Marsh, President & CEO of United Way, explained.

Nate said The Little Engine That Could has quickly become one of Noelle’s favorite books and they have already read it countless times. 

When Nate first read the book to Noelle, he said it was exciting and a bit emotional. He thought about the other families who will now have the opportunity to bring books into their homes and read to their children thanks to United Way of Delaware County and Imagination Library. 

The program is open to all families in Delaware County. United Way's adoption of this program supports their community-wide initiative to improve early childhood literacy. Registered families will receive books tailored to their children’s age. Families can feel supported knowing their children are receiving developmentally appropriate books each month. The books also include United Way’s tips for reading to a child to ensure both the parent and child are making the most of these valuable learning experiences. The program is open to children ages birth through five years.

Nate says he is eager for Noelle to receive books every month, especially as she grows older and anticipates the monthly delivery. Because Gus is beginning the program at birth, he has the opportunity to grow up with Imagination Library, gaining the full experience over the next five years. 

Nate encourages families with young children to look into participating in the Imagination Library program. It has an inspiring backstory and is garnering inspiring outcomes across the globe. Learn more about the program at

This Season, Give the Gift of Reading

$25 gives 1 child 12 books for 1 year. $100 give 4 children 48 books for 1 year. With your help, we can improve literacy in Delaware County. 

Sponsor a Child Today

2015 Campaign Wrap-Up

Our 2015 campaign is nearing the end, but it's not too late to give. If you’d like to contribute to the campaign, we offer the option to receive monthly, quarterly, or annual pledge statements. Gifts to United Way improve thousands of people’s lives, right here in Delaware County, every single day. Our work is not possible without your gracious support. 

Make a Pledge, Fuel a Movement

Tax Assistance Volunteers Needed

It’s nearing tax time and United Way is seeking volunteers to assist with VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). If you know how to do your own taxes, then you're already prepared for this opportunity! 

Contact Jim Flatford, Director of Impact, at 765-288-5586 ext. 224 or for more information.

Learn More

United Way of Delaware County Holiday Hours

United Way of Delaware County will be closed on Dec. 24-25. Normal business hours will resume on Dec. 28. In the event any donors wish to get one last charitable deduction in for 2015, on Dec. 31, United Way will remain open until 5 p.m. 

We wish you and your family a happy holiday season!

Copyright © 2015 United Way of Delaware County, All rights reserved.

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