United Way Receives Dominion Energy Grant for Reading Program

Southwest, WY – United Way of Southwest Wyoming (UWSW) was awarded an $8,000 grant from Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation to increase the time parents spend reading out loud with their children. With these funds, 3,200 books will be mailed to children in Sweetwater, Lincoln and Uinta Counties through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Southwest Wyoming.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library mails one book a month, for free, to every enrolled child’s home. Dolly Parton created the Imagination Library to guarantee access to books and to inspire parents to read to their children as much as possible.

The Imagination Library pays for the books and United Way raises funds to cover the cost of shipping the books, which is about $35 a year per child, and makes the program accessible to all preschool children in the area. Currently, 2,466 children in Southwest Wyoming are enrolled in the program and 3,686 have graduated.

“Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program aligns with our Education Initiative to increase kindergarten readiness, third-grade reading scores and high school graduation rates. Research shows that reading aloud is the single most important thing you can do to help a child prepare for reading and learning,” said Kelly Frink, Executive Director, United Way of Southwest Wyoming.

UWSW is also a partner of Read Aloud which compiles information on the science of why it is so important to read aloud and promotes reading aloud every day to children for 15 minutes. Read Aloud states that it’s up to parents how much their child will learn before they start school. 

Parents can enroll their children online for this program online by visiting swuntiedway.org. Paper forms are also available at the UWSW office, 510 South Main Street, Rock Springs, WY.

For more information on how you can help more children in Southwest Wyoming receive age-appropriate books, please contact Shelley Richno at 307-362-5003 or srichno@swunitedway.org

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Dominion Energy plans to contribute more than $30 million in 2018 to community causes throughout its footprint and beyond through Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, as well as EnergyShare and other programs. The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation award grants in four focus areas: human need, environmental stewardship, education and community vitality.

For information visit their website at www.dominionenergy.com/community/dominion-energy-charitable-foundation.