Several local celebrities, media personalities and community leaders will join together to promote Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library on June 4, with an all-day virtual literacy event.
The online event will feature local celebrities taking turns reading children’s books starting at 9 a.m. on Facebook and will end with a Women United Virtual Reunite from 5-6 p.m. via Zoom. The aim of the day’s reading and virtual reunite will be to raise money for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Monongalia County.
Guest readers will include Brooke Brown, wife of WVU head football coach Neal Brown; West Virginia Radio Corp.’s Hoppy Kercheval; Tony Caridi, WVU football and basketball play-by-play announcer and children’s book author; John Flowers, former WVU basketball player; Mountaineer mascot Colson Glover; North Elementary School principal Natalie Webb; Emily Kurth, owner of Coco and June; former WVU President David Hardesty and wife, Susan Hardesty; and Nikki Izzo-Brown, WVU women’s soccer coach.
The book readings will be posted on the United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties’ Facebook page, @unitedwaympc, as well as the Women United page, @WomenUnitedMPC, throughout the day with links on how to donate.
Those who donate will be entered into drawings that will be held during the 5-6 p.m. virtual reunite. While you can tune into the book readings on the Facebook pages, you must register in advance to join the virtual reunite. Register at http://tiny.cc/dpil.
The virtual literacy event takes the place of Power of the Purse, which was originally scheduled for June 4 but canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Power of the Purse is an annual fundraiser hosted by Women United of UWMPC.
“The Imagination Library is a wonderful program that promotes a love of reading and lifelong learning, which is important to all children. In Monongalia County, parents can sign their children up to receive personal hardcover books each month for pre-school children,” said Sabrina Cave, a member of Women United and one of the organizers of the virtual event. “Women United supports this important project and encourages others to donate to this important cause.”
The local United Way launched the Imagination Library in Monongalia County on May 23, 2018, and now has more than 2,000 children signed up. The program also has a standing presence in Preston County. The book-by-mail program delivers one free, high-quality, age-appropriate book per month to children from birth to 5 years of age. The program is continuing to mail books through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Women United, a group of outstanding women in our community, share a passion for children and learning. It is an honor to work with these volunteers to promote a love for reading and literacy,” said Lydotta Taylor, co-chair of Women United and an organizer of the event. “We are hopeful that individuals will join us and support this effort by donating on June 4 to provide books to our children.”