United Way set to celebrate 3rd anniversary of the Imagination Library and release results of research study conducted by Penn State CORE

United Way of Erie County is set to celebrate the third anniversary (birthday) of bringing the Imagination Library free book-a-month program to the Erie region at its Imagination Golf Classic event on Thursday, June 9 at Lake Shore Country Club.

As of May 2016, the total number of books mailed locally since the program’s inception just three years ago surpassed one quarter of a million!

Through this transformational early literacy program, in 2015 United Way mailed 104,274 books to children under the age of five in Erie County.

In addition to celebrating Imagination Library's third birthday in Erie County, results from a new research study, conducted by Penn State Behrend's Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Community Outreach, Research and Evaluation (CORE) will be shared. The data from the study, led by Dr. Chad Waldron, shows that kindergarten children who received the Imagination Library books performed significantly better on early literacy tasks and have stronger beginning reading skills.

ABOUT THE IMAGINATION GOLF CLASSIC: More than 120 golfers will hit the links at the second annual Imagination Golf Classic presented by PNC Financial Services that tees off Thursday, June 9, 2016 at Lake Shore Country Club at 12:00pm. Throughout play, the event will feature characters and set displays from the Erie Playhouse and a live auction during a dinner reception. An additional 30 other organizations have sponsored the event. Proceeds from the golf outing will directly benefit United Way of Erie County’s Imagination Library.

ABOUT THE IMAGINATION LIBRARY: United Way of Erie County’s Imagination Library program provides a high-quality, age- appropriate, free book, mailed directly to the child’s home starting from birth until age five. The Imagination Library is a United Way of Erie County initiative in collaboration with The Erie Community Foundation and other funding and community partners. For more information about the Imagination Library please visit: www.unitedwayerie.org/Imagination