United Way of Northwest Louisiana (UWNWLA) was awarded $10,000 from Brookshire’s Food & Pharmacy to help fund United Way’s Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program. These funds will sponsor more than 300 children in DeSoto and other Northwest Louisiana areas for an entire year and provide a total of 3,600 free books to local children.
Local data demonstrates that only fifty-two percent of children in Northwest Louisiana enter kindergarten prepared. Through the Imagination Library program, one book is delivered directly to children’s homes each month. If a child is enrolled in the program at birth, they will own a library of 60 books by the time they enter kindergarten, all at zero cost to the child’s family.
“Community is very important to Brookshire’s Grocery Company. Giving back to and investing in our community starts with our children,” said Line Avenue Brookshire’s Store Director Connor Low. “Ensuring that our children have the educational resources through things such as books is critical to their development and is very important to our hearts here at Brookshire’s.”
Every year, UWNWLA mails more than 40,000 books to children enrolled in the Imagination Library. Studies have shown that these children score 15 percent higher on average than their peers on reading tests, improving access to educational outcomes for children in low-income households.
“Illiteracy is the root of many of our societal problems, including crime and poverty, which is why we believe it makes economic sense to invest in our children today because they are our tomorrow,” said UWNWLA President & CEO LaToria W. Thomas. “We are grateful for our partnership of seven years with Brookshire’s and proud to have their continued support in the fight to improve early childhood education.”
The Imagination Library is currently offered in all of Desoto, Red River, Sabine, Natchitoches, and Webster Parishes, as well as the following zip codes of Caddo and Bossier Parishes: 71103, 71106, 71109, 71111, 71112, 71006, and 71064.