Buffalo, NY - Read to Succeed Buffalo (RTSB) announced today that a $40,000 grant by the Gallogly Family Foundation will support the expansion of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library (Imagination Library) into Buffalo's 14207, 14213 and 14214 ZIP codes. Serving as the Western New York affiliate for the national Imagination Library book distribution program since 2012, RTSB has delivered more than 40,000 books to more than 2,200 children under the age of five, in the 14215 neighborhood.
Imagination Library was created in 1995 by Dolly Parton, country music star and literacy advocate, to provide free books to disadvantaged children to foster a love of reading and improve literacy skills. Through the program, all registered children from birth to age five receive a new, age-appropriate book in the mail every month until their fifth birthday.
"We are pleased to continue our support of Read to Succeed Buffalo and help the organization expand Imagination Library to more students in the city of Buffalo," said Kasey DeLuke, executive director of the Gallogly Family Foundation. "As advocates for early education, we believe that these types of programs are critical in helping our youngest students develop the necessary literacy skills to succeed in both school and life."
According to RTSB, research shows that children who are low-income, live in a poor community and who are not reading at grade level by the end of 3rd Grade are 13 times less likely to graduate high school.
RTSB promotes literacy and reading proficiency through various initiatives and nationally recognized programs like Imagination Library, Community Alignment for Reading Excellence (CARE), and AARP Foundation's Experience Corps Volunteer Tutoring program. RTSB is expanding Imagination Library book distribution to the neighborhoods of the 14207, 14213 and 14214 ZIP codes as collateral support to CARE Child Care, a program recently expanded into this same neighborhood by funding from the Rich Family Foundation. The two programs will complement one-another by ensuring that, whether at home or in child care, infants, toddlers and preschoolers will have access to books and literacy-rich, high quality care.
"RTSB is extremely thankful to the Gallogly Family Foundation for its generosity and continuing support of our mission," said Anne Ryan, Executive Director of Read to Succeed Buffalo. "Through this funding, the expansion of Imagination Library will significantly help us in our efforts to make age-appropriate books more accessible for thousands more young children and caregivers in the most challenged neighborhoods in the city of Buffalo."
The Gallogly Family Foundation is a private grant making foundation based in Houston, Texas, but has close ties to Buffalo. The foundation's executive director, Kasey DeLuke, is a resident of Buffalo.