Skip to main content

Women for Women Presents Grant to United Way of Pitt County

PITT COUNTY, N.C.—Women for Women recently awarded a $2,928 grant to United Way of Pitt County. This grant will be used to expand Imagination Library to approximately 100 girls in Pitt County.

Imagination Library is a program founded by the Dollywood Foundation that delivers a developmentally appropriate book, hand selected by experts in the field, to each enrolled child once per month at no cost to the family.  

United Way of Pitt County launched Imagination Library in May of 2016 in partnership with Books from Birth Early Literacy Coalition of ENC to help increase kindergarten readiness rates. Books from Birth Early Literacy Coalition of ENC is a cross sector collaboration with partners including United Way of Pitt County, East Carolina University, Vidant Health, Pitt County Schools, local libraries, local industry, and many others.  

“We are excited to support the expansion of this very important early literacy initiative,” said Patsy Duke, Women for Women board member and grants chair.  

About half of Pitt County kindergartners enter school each year lacking the foundation in vocabulary and pre-literacy skills needed to be successful in school. Research shows that children’s brain development in their earliest years correlates to school success. Unfortunately, some Pitt County children have no books in their home and teachers report that some children enter school having never held a book in their life. 

“85% of critical brain development occurs by age 3, waiting until kindergarten to initiate literacy concepts is simply too late,” says Jessie Beacham, Early Literacy Program Coordinator “we are thrilled that Women for Women recognizes the importance of reading aloud to every baby born in Pitt County beginning at birth.”

Women for Women grants support organizations that address unmet needs for women and girls within the county. The grant will allow United Way of Pitt County and Books from Birth Early Literacy Coalition of ENC to expand Imagination Library to reach more young children this year.

Books from Birth Early Literacy Coalition of ENC aims to ensure that all Pitt County children enter kindergarten prepared by exposing infants, toddlers, and preschoolers to books and vocabulary beginning at birth.

United Way of Pitt County focuses on school success and workforce development with two specific goals: all children enter school ready and all youth graduate high school.  United Way of Pitt County is the local affiliate for Imagination Library and serves as the umbrella organization for Books from Birth Early Literacy Coalition of ENC.  Imagination Library fits into our mission by helping children arrive at kindergarten healthy and ready to learn.

For more information contact Melissa Adamson, Community Impact Director at United Way of Pitt County at 252-758-1604.

Pictured Right to Left: Patsy Duke, Women for Women board member and grants chair, presents grant award to Jessie Beacham, Early Literacy Program Coordinator, United Way of Pitt County.