Imagination Library

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United Way of Central Minnesota is committed to helping children and youth achieve their potential because 85% of brain development happens before age 3. Reading with your child, starting at birth, will help them gain a better understanding of the world and early reading skills.

Imagination Library is a program of United Way of Central Minnesota in partnership with the Dollywood Foundation to encourage children to develop a love of reading and better prepare them for kindergarten. The program provides a new, FREE, age appropriate book to every child at their home each month until their 5th birthday. Eligible children must have a parent or guardian who lives in the United Way of Central Minnesota service area. To learn more about United Way’s service area, visit

Since the program began 10 years ago, more than one million books have been mailed locally. That is more than the Great River Regional Library (32 library locations) has in circulation. One parent said, “We sit and read instead of watching television.” A recent study completed with local Imagination Library parents revealed that 94% of parents noted that their children ask to be read to more due to the program.

To enroll your child, you can either print out a form at and mail to the United Way of Central Minnesota office or complete the online form. Please notify United Way of Central Minnesota anytime your address changes in order to continue receiving books. After registering, the first book takes about eight to ten weeks to arrive.

The program is funded locally by individual donations from parents, other community members, corporate gifts, and special grants. A child can be sponsored for $30 per year. Last year, more than 10,400 children received Imagination Library books in Central Minnesota. Help us spread the word about this program by informing your employer that businesses can also donate to help support Imagination Library.

To learn additional ways you can prepare your child for their future success visit and click on Read. Talk. Play. Together Everyday.

For more information regarding early learning/early literacy, please contact: United Way of Central Minnesota at (320) 223-7992, or

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