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updated: 12/27/2012 1:04 PM

Library program sending books to Elgin kids gets grant

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Submitted by United Way of Elgin

The United Way of Elgin recently announced that the JPMorgan Chase Foundation has renewed its commitment to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program with a $25,000 grant. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library sends free books monthly to Elgin area children from birth to age 5.

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"We are thrilled and grateful that JPMorgan Chase Foundation has chosen to continue supporting this important program," said Lynne Bosley, president of the United Way of Elgin. "This grant is critical foundation to a program that helps our local children enter kindergarten prepared to succeed."

The JPMorgan Chase Foundation's goal is to be the catalyst to meaningful, positive and sustainable change within high-need neighborhoods.

Since launching in the area in February 2009, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library has sent more than 108,000 books to 5,600 children in Elgin, South Elgin, Burlington, Hampshire, and Pingree Grove. Parents can learn how to register their children to receive books by visiting uwelgin.org and clicking the "Free Books" link in the lower left corner.

The Imagination Library was started by Dolly Parton in 1996 in her hometown, and launched as a national program in 2000. The goal of the program is to foster a love of reading by providing all children, regardless of family income, with a library of books. At United Way of Elgin, the program is one of many education initiatives, which work to ensure that the families in our community have the capacity to act as primary caregivers, with particular focus on creating home and school environments where children and youth have every opportunity to become literate, secure, and prepared for productive adulthood.

The program is currently funded by grants from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, EFS Foundation, The Hoffer Foundation, Elgin Township, Target Foundation, Fideliter Club of Elgin, and donations from community members.

If you would like more information, call the United Way office at (847) 741-2259 or email Elissa Kojzarek at ekojzarek@uwelgin.org.

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