Over 10,000 Snohomish County children are receiving free books every month thanks to United Way of Snohomish County and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library beginning in August of last year.

The Imagination Library delivers high quality and age-appropriate books to children from birth to age five, every month until their fifth birthday. There is no cost to the families, but parents must register their children to be enrolled in the program. Once registered, books will begin arriving within 8-12 weeks.

“This is big milestone to celebrate! We are excited that so many of our youngest neighbors and earliest learners are receiving these books, creating a lifelong love of reading along the way,” said Maya Hemachandra, Interim President, and Chief Executive Officer of UWSC. “We are grateful to all of our supporters for investing in early education and helping us build a stronger community.”

Through the partnership, almost 60,000 books have been delivered so far to local children in Snohomish County, with 38,000 of those being delivered since January alone. The program ensures that children have access to books and opportunities to read at home, no matter what their income level. The books also provide opportunities for children and their parents or caregivers to bond by reading and spending time together.

“Our intention when launching this partnership was to ensure that we continued to find new ways to uphold our mission of serving families with young children in our community,” said Hemachandra. “We know that access to early literature prior to entering kindergarten is incredibly important for long term success in school and life. We couldn’t be happier that over 10,000 children are benefiting from this program every month.”

UWSC projects that over 100,000 books will be mailed to local children in Snohomish County by early summer. Families not currently enrolled in the program or those interested in additional information can learn more by visiting Free Books for Kids.

United Way of Snohomish County has served Snohomish County for over 80 years and has moved beyond its traditional role of simply being a fundraiser to being a funder, active partner, and convener around intentional collaborative solutions that create lasting community change. United Way does this by bringing people, resources, and strategy together to solve our community’s toughest challenges. To find out more about United Way of Snohomish County and the programs we support within our community, please visit our website at UWSC..

Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book-gifting program in the world. The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has gifted over 230 million free books in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and The Republic of Ireland. This is achieved through funding shared by The Dollywood Foundation and Local Community and [State/Provincial/National] Partners. The Imagination Library mails more than 2.6 million high-quality, age-appropriate books directly to children’s homes each month. Each child enrolled in the program receives one book per month from birth to age five – at no cost to families. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading and inspiring children to Dream More, Learn More, Care More and Be More.