Give the Gift of Reading

Lola MagazineLola Shreveport

Did you have a favorite book as a child? Maybe it was a bedtime story that gave you the sweetest of dreams or a comfort book that you have positive memories tied to. The reality is, not all children are read bedtime stories, have the opportunity to get lost in a good book, or have access to books in their homes at all. While this may not seem like a necessity, it has become an issue that not only affects our youth but will have lasting effects on our community.

 Illiteracy has become the root of many of our societal problems, including poverty and crime, as 50 percent of children in Northwest Louisiana enter kindergarten unprepared and become one in every five adults that cannot read. Success in life begins with quality education. And yet, millions of children lack the support they need to strengthen their literacy, making it more likely for them to have low achievement throughout their school experience, struggle with low self-esteem, have an increase in school discipline and low attendance, and increase their chances of dropping out of school and starting a career.

Our region is home to three of the poorest zip codes in the state: 71103, 71108, and 71109. The children living in these impoverished regions are a part of families whom we call ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). ALICE represents the growing number of individuals and families who work hard but are still unable to afford their essential needs. The children of ALICE are especially affected when it comes to the lack of books in their homes because books are often viewed as a luxury when many other family necessities are going unmet.

 We believe it makes economic sense to invest in our children while they are young so they can have the social and developmental tools necessary for school and life. With the support of our community, we have made strides to close the gaps between children and access to books through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. United Way enables the Imagination Library to mail out a new, age-appropriate book each month to children’s homes at zero cost to the children’s families. Children can be enrolled in the program at birth and own a library of up to 60 books by the time they enter kindergarten.

Studies have shown that children enrolled in the Imagination Library score 15% higher on average than their peers on reading tests. When children are introduced to reading at a young age, they can better understand the grade-level text; they can make sense of what they see, hear, and read; they can improve their cognitive and vocabulary development; and they have an increased chance of graduating high school.

Today’s children are tomorrow’s leaders, which is why we want to give every child a chance at a brighter future. However, while United Way of Northwest Louisiana is the largest provider of the Imagination Library in the state, every day, we must deny children from our most underserved areas enrollment into the program due to funding.

Today we are asking you to support the expansion of the Imagination Library locally by joining the United Way Book Club. Through your gift as a Book Club member, you will place books in the hands and homes of 3,053 children that reside in three of our poorest zip codes. A contribution of as little as $50 has the power to sponsor a child in the program for one year. Will you help us achieve our vision of ensuring there are books in every child’s home in our region?

You can be a part of the United Way Book Club today by giving at one of the levels listed below before December 31, 2022. New Book Club members will receive a limited-edition bookmark, and those that give $50 or more before November 30 will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win an autographed copy of Dolly Parton’s book, Coat of Many Colors. We will draw for the winning name on Wednesday, November 30, 2022.

Book Worms ($250 or less) 

Page Turners ($251 – $499) 

Storytellers ($500 – $999) 

Novelists ($1,000 – $4,999)

Sponsors ($5,000 – $50,000)
*see details on next page


To view the full list of sponsorship
benefits, please visit 

Please contact Tori Thomas at with questions.

Includes VIP tickets and premier spots to Celebration of Impact and Day of Caring, a shared digital billboard, and more.

SCHOLARS ($10,000 – $24,999) – SPONSORS 200 CHILDREN FOR 12 MONTHS
Includes VIP tickets and premier spots to Celebration of Impact and Day of Caring, a digital billboard featuring company logo, a large logo featured in United Way Annual Report as DPIL sponsors, and more.

CURATORS ($25,000 – $49,999) – SPONSORS 500 CHILDREN FOR 12 MONTHS
Includes a digital billboard featuring company logo and personalized message, the opportunity for company employee(s) to be filmed reading 3 books to be shared via social media, website, and e-newsletter for promotion, a featured message in 3 DPIL monthly e-newsletters sent to all participating families in the program, and more.  

Includes a featured article in United Way Annual Report, a featured message in 3 DPIL monthly e-newsletters sent to all participating families in the program, a personalized video to be shared on social media, and more.

Please consider giving the gift of books this holiday season and give today by visiting

On behalf of the children you have helped prepare for kindergarten and beyond, THANK YOU for your compassion, generosity, and for truly making a difference in the lives of our youth. We believe that a community filled with books is a community filled with opportunity and possibilities.

Give today
via our QR Code!

“I absolutely love this program and encourage everyone to sign up for it. My son is developing a love for reading because of this program, and even though he cannot read (yet!), he loves to show off his book, sit somewhere alone with his book, and open his book and turn to each page while pointing at the print and saying proudly, ‘read a book!’.”

~Chelsea Truong, parent