United Way opens registration to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Winnebago County

Local families can bring the joy of reading to their homes with United Way of Rock River Valley and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Children in Winnebago County, ages 0-5, can receive 60 diverse, age-appropriate books over five years, including bilingual titles.

United Way first brought Imagination Library to Winnebago County in 2020. Since then, more than 92,000 books have been distributed to more than 5,000 children in the community. Registration was closed after enrollment reached a point where funding could no longer cover additional enrollees. On Tuesday, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced that the state would cover the cost of half of the program in communities across the state. With United Way covering the other half of the cost, registration in Winnebago County is back open, effective immediately.

“In coordination with our new United for Literacy initiative, a core mission of United Way is to get as many books into the hands of young readers in Winnebago County as possible,” said Jessica Iasparro, Director of Community Impact, United Way of Rock River Valley. “Imagination Library is an incredible program and wonderful resource to help us accomplish that.”

United for Literacy is a partnership between United Way and more than 30 local organizations in Winnebago County, which includes 14 funded agencies providing literacy-focused initiatives and resources to the community. Adding Imagination Library to that partnership brings more books and corresponding literacy resources and activities to families in Winnebago County. Any resident with children under five in Winnebago County can enroll now, at no cost, and start building their children’s at-home libraries by registering at unitedwayrrv.org/imaginationlibrary.