By: Shelley Shekell—
Nate Rose is a father of two living in Delaware County. He and his wife Marissa understand and support the important push for early childhood literacy in Delaware County. Nate saw a need for getting books into the homes of families, and he took strides to make that happen.
While researching Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program, a program that provides families with a high-quality book every month with no cost to the family, he realized the program was not yet present in this community. The lack of programming ignited a spark in Nate and he began taking the necessary steps to bring the program to Delaware County. He filled out the paperwork, crunched the numbers and reached out to non-profits in the area in an effort to attract an organization to facilitate the program. Once United Way of Delaware County caught wind of this opportunity, the not-for-profit eagerly hopped on board, looking forward to the positive impact Imagination Library would have on early childhood education.
Nate’s children Noelle, 2, and Gus, 6-weeks, are the first two participants receiving Imagination Library books in Delaware County. The children received their first books — The Little Engine That Could — this month and the Rose’s are eagerly awaiting their next books, which will arrive in January.
“Noelle loves [her book],” said Nate. “She loves reading. She saw a brand new book and sat and read the whole thing with me. She was captivated by the pictures!”
Nate said The Little Engine That Could has quickly become one of Noelle’s favorite books and they have already read it countless times.
When Nate first read the book to Noelle, he said it was exciting and a bit emotional. He thought about the other families who will now have the opportunity to bring books into their homes and read to their children thanks to Imagination Library.
The program is not restricted to a set demographic, but rather open to all families in Delaware County. The adoption of this program supports the community-wide initiative of improving early childhood literacy. Registered families will receive books tailored to their children’s age. Families can feel supported knowing their children are receiving age and developmentally appropriate books each month. The books also include United Way’s tips for reading to a child to ensure both the parent and child are making the most of these valuable learning experiences. The program is open to children ages birth through five.
Nate says he is eager for Noelle to receive books every month, especially as she grows older and anticipates the monthly delivery. Because Gus is beginning the program at birth, he has the opportunity to grow up with Imagination Library, gaining the full experience over the next five years.
Nate encourages families with young children to look into participating in the Imagination Library program. It has an inspiring backstory and is garnering inspiring outcomes across the globe. Learn more about the program at invitedtoliveunited.org.
Shelley Shekell is account manager at Intersection