December 1, 2022 –
Imagination Library of Waco is pleased to announce it has received a $5,000 grant from the Solid Gold Neighbor initiative at Baylor University to grow and sustain enrollment in a new, high-priority zip code in the greater Waco community. The grant was given through Baylor’s Philanthropy and Public Goods course, which aims to teach students the importance of philanthropy. Along with traditional coursework, students are given a “hands-on” opportunity to evaluate non-profit organizations and provide grants.
Rebecca Lu is a Senior who participated in evaluating Imagination Library’s grant proposal. Lu stated, “From the outset, it has been clear to us that Imagination Library of Waco, through its goal of bringing books to the homes of children in the innermost zip codes of Waco, is making real positive change not only in kindergarten readiness but also through the benefits of cultivating engagement between the caregiver and the child. We selected them due to our belief in the vital role that education plays in lifting a community up and the ways that Imagination Library of Waco is directly championing that initiative through its proactive efforts to bring as many books into as many homes as possible.”
Imagination Library of Waco recently opened enrollment for children in the 76708 zip code. It is estimated that more than 280 children will enroll within the first twelve months. Baylor’s grant will cover the cost for those children to receive one children’s book per month. In total, the grant will allow Imagination Library to send out over 2,200 books over the course of a year to an area that needs literacy and early childhood education resources.
Much of inner city Waco, including neighborhoods in 76708, are considered to be in a “book desert” meaning there is a lack of books in homes. Research shows that children who have books in homes are more likely to academic success in kindergarten and in later grades.
“We are grateful to be recipients of this grant. Baylor University has made it a priority to invest in the community and we are thankful that Imagination Library was chosen to be a part of that,” said Executive Director Noelle Baker.
For more information about Baylor’s Solid Gold Initiative, visit https://externalaffairs.web.baylor.edu
About Imagination Library of Waco
Imagination Library of Waco was started in December 2020 and is the local affiliate of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The mission is to ensure that all children in Waco grow up surrounded by books. It’s that simple. Imagination Library of Waco currently serves six zip codes in the heart of Waco, with plans to expand to all of McLennan County. There are currently over 960 children enrolled in the program and to-date, Imagination Library of Waco has gifted over 12,000 books.