Wyo4News Staff, [email protected] [PRESS RELEASE]
SOUTHWEST WYOMING (January 6, 2021) — Whisler Chevrolet Cadillac is supporting early learning in Sweetwater County by partnering with United Way of Southwest Wyoming (UWSW). Whisler has pledged to make an annual $12,000 donation to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Southwest Wyoming. Through this program, one book a month is mailed to every enrolled child, free of charge.
“We are thankful that we can continue our partnership with United Way supporting education. We have supported the Imagination Library in the past and want to make a bigger commitment. Getting kids excited about reading helps prepare them for school and school is the foundation for a good life, “said Andria Whisler Smith, owner of Whisler Chevrolet Cadillac.
Whisler’s gift supports over 343 children each year. “This kind of commitment, especially now, is much needed to be able to continue offering this program in Sweetwater County. Whisler is committed to helping children in our community to be successful. This program guarantees access to books and inspires parents to read to their children. As little as 15 minutes a day has a big impact on a child,” said Kelly Frink, Executive Director, United Way of Southwest Wyoming.
The Imagination Library pays for the books and UWSW 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, 2,236 children in Southwest Wyoming are enrolled in the program and 5,103 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.
Parents can enroll their children in 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 [email protected]