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Free books for children in Lake Area

Updated: Apr. 26, 2021 at 5:05 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The United Way of Southwest Louisiana has been partnered with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library since 2013. However, a recent post by United Way about the book program has gained serious attention in the Lake Area with more than 100 shares.

Since 2013, the organization has been able to provide over 65,000 books to children free of charge just in the Lake Area.

Once registered, preschoolers receive one book a month from birth until age five. Children in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jeff Davis Parish are eligible to receive these books.

The Senior Director of Community Impact for United Way of Southwest Louisiana, Laurie Martin, says that having age-appropriate books plays a huge role in early education for children.

“National studies show that 61 percent of low-income families don’t have these age-appropriate books in their home,” Martin said. “Here in Southwest Louisiana, that’s almost 3,000 preschool children that don’t have access to these books simply because their parents can’t afford them.”

Martin says that education is a main focus at United Way, and they’re very fortunate to be able to fill the need in all five parishes.

“Educators say its huge for children to be read to prior to entering school,” Martin said. “There is such a huge need, so this helps get those books into some homes that don’t have the funds or the means to go get these age-appropriate books. That’s the most important thing, is that they start with birth and go all the way to age five.”

For more information on the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, click here.

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