NWCU gift to Imagination Library serves Lane County through 2026
"Northwest Community Credit Union's leadership in supporting local literacy is a wonderful gift to families. Through this generous gift, the impact on early literacy will be tremendous," said Executive Director of Eugene Public Library Foundation Reed Davaz McGowan.
Starting January 1, 2022, all Lane County parents can sign up young children to receive a new book in the mail every month, free of charge. Designed to promote reading and learning, the Imagination Library program serves children from birth through age four. Children “graduate” when they turn five and enter kindergarten.
It is our duty and pleasure as Northwest Community Credit Union to help our communities thrive, and a major component of that is literacy.
"When it comes to financial literacy, managing money and being able to create your own financial story as a young adult, you have to have a strong ability to read to ‘open the next chapter’ of your life. That's why NWCU and our Board of Directors wanted to make a major gift to support early reading,” said President and CEO John Iglesias.
About the Imagination Library in Lane County
Eugene Public Library Foundation and Eugene Public Library started Eugene’s local affiliate in 2014. Currently, local families can participate only if they live within certain service areas, such as the City of Eugene and the Springfield school district. This new partnership among Eugene Public Library, Eugene Public Library Foundation, Northwest Community Credit Union, and United Way of Lane County will cover all Lane County addresses that are not already included in a service area.
The program currently serves 3300 preschoolers. Each month, approximately 100 new participants are enrolled and an average of 80 graduate. Hundreds of local donors have contributed specifically to support the Imagination Library of Eugene.
The Imagination Library was started in 1995 by Dolly Parton to serve her home county in Tennessee. In response to her father’s inability to read and write, she hoped to bring opportunity and a love of reading to young children by gifting books free of charge. Today, Imagination Library spans five countries and gifts over 1 million free books each month to children around the world.
To make the program financially possible, the central organization uses economies of scale to print and mail all the books, as well as to administer an expert committee who select books to match the learning needs of each age group. Because of this structure, the cost to print and mail a brand-new, high-quality book is only about $2.10 per child each month. Each local nonprofit affiliate raises funds for and administers the program for a particular geographic area.
To search to see if an address is already covered, visit www.imaginationlibrary.com. If a Lane County address is not yet covered, it will be starting January 1, 2022.
For more information about the Imagination Library of Eugene, contact Eugene Public Library at 541-682-5450 or www.eugene-or.gov/library.