Childhood Literacy Project in Hazleton a Success Story


(WBRE/WYOU-TV)      United Way of Greater Hazleton Books for Kids project is a success story. For the past five years, kids are registered as newborns and they then are mailed an age-appropriate book each month. It’s a partnership with the Dolly Parton Imaginary Library. 20,000 books have been given to Pre-K children since 2014.  The I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick has our story

It was a day to celebrate reading at the Hazle Township early learning center.

  “Today we are marking a milestone of 20,000 books have been given to children in the Hazleton area,” Said Pat Ward, Executive Director United Way of Greater Hazleton.

 The United Way of Greater Hazleton works with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library-a Nonprofit Child Literacy Group– to donate books to pre-k students. The joint project began in 2014 with the registration of newborns in the Hazleton. Each child receives a new age-appropriate hardcover book each month for five years.

 “This is an attempt by the United Way of Greater Hazleton to get an early start if you will in the fight against childhood illiteracy” Said Ward.

  “Well, the enthusiasm for the books and we get a lot of feedback. The children love the book they wait for them every month. It’s age-appropriate and helps them” Said Donna Yanuzzi, United Way of Greater Hazleton.

 On this day the book, “The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ was read to pre-k students but teachers here will tell you it doesn’t matter what book is read. Just that the kids understand the importance of reading.

  “Reading is so important especially at the early level for success. It builds a foundation for whatever jobs they get later in life. So starting from an early age reading is sure to help them” Noted Cassandra Catania, Teacher Hazleton Area School District.

 Funding for the books come from area foundations as well as private donations.

Learn more about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library  Click Here

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