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LCSD donates $20K to United Way's efforts to provide free children's books

(The following press release and photo were submitted from the United Way of Southeast Mississippi.)

The Lamar County School District has donated $20,000 to United Way of Southeast Mississippi to help the organization provide children in Lamar County with free books.

The donation is made possible by donors who participated in the Early Learning Collaborative state tax credit to support Lamar County School District Pre-K programs.

The money donated will provide books through Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, a national program hosted throughout the country by local organizations, such as United Way SEMS. The program provides one age-appropriate book to enrolled children each month, mailed directly to their home for free. This program is available for children from birth until they turn 5 years old.

“I was blessed to grow up in a home where books were plentiful and well-worn. My family valued education and believed that it all started with reading,” said Tess Smith, superintendent of education for Lamar County School District. “I love to see our little ones with books in their hands. I want a book in the hand of every child. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library will help us do just that with children in Lamar County”

Tracie Fowler, president/CEO of United Way of Southeast Mississippi, said, “We are thrilled to serve as the host of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Hattiesburg. Research shows that the most successful way to improve reading achievement is to increase a child’s access to books. At UWSEMS, reading literacy is a top priority.”

To learn more about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and United Way of Southeast Mississippi, visit or call 601-545-7141.



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