Skip to main content

Celebrating Literacy Month in September

 Help Keys Children Set Sail on a Sea of Books!

There are several initiatives in Monroe County that support putting books in children’s hands. One is the Dollywood Foundation's “Imagination Library” program, offered by UWFK, which mails a free book each month to a child's home until their 5th birthday. All parents need to do is sign up and upon graduation from the program their child has a library of up to 60 books. 
 
Kirsten, a local parent, says, "We started the [Imagination Library] program when my son was born, and he is now eighteen months old. Every time a book comes in the mail he gets excited and can't wait to read his new book.
 
Early literacy has profound, long-lasting effects on our children and our society.  We love to hear from parents like Kirsten about how Imagination Library is impacting their child's vocabulary, school readiness and family reading time. The program is overwhelmingly popular with families but funding constraints continue to limit enrollment.
 
In 2019, UWFK was pleased to expand the program thanks to grants of $5,000 from Wells Fargo Foundation and $9,000 from Ocean Reef Community Foundation. Already, enrollment is filling up. And yet...
 
 We dream of enrolling all 700 babies born each year in Monroe County in the Imagination Library program.
 
Is that a big dream? Maybe, but we think it's achievable. 
 
How can you help?
 
If you loved reading to your children or enjoyed books as a child yourself, consider sharing this gift with another family. 
  • a $30 gift will provide 1 child with books for a year
  • $150 will provide 5 children with books for a year, or 1 child for 5 years 
  • a $750 donation will give 5 children monthly books until their 5th birthday
To find out more about Imagination Library, please give us a call. Donations of any amount can be made securely and easily at KeysUnitedWay.org/Donate.

Seeking Little Free Library Locations

To expand our literacy efforts, UWFK is also rolling out more “Little Free Libraries” this fall, which follow the 'take a book, leave a book' philosophy. 
 
One library box is already located at Bernstein Park on Stock Island and other locations are needed county-wide. The Key West Citizen is donating newspaper boxes to be recycled as these libraries. 
 
If you know of a location that would be willing to host a "Little Free Library" and help keep it filled, please give us a call. 
 
Please help Keys children set sail on a sea of books!