July 2021
Imagination Library eNews
Information and resources for Imagination Library families
As of June 2021, 📚 846,646 books have been delivered to 24,872 children in Erie County.💯💰100% of Imagination Library program funds are raised by support to United Way of Erie County. Learn More and register an Erie County child under the age of 5 in your lifeUnitedWayErie.org/Imagination
Do you know someone who may want to register a child for United Way's Imagination Library in Erie County?
It's simple! Forward this newsletter or share this link.
How Telling Stories Helps Kids Learn
Reading is important for all ages and has been well-researched for its many benefits, but is there a difference with storytelling? Not to be confused with story reading, storytelling has its own techniques and advantages.

Storytelling is spoken without the use of physical pictures and often includes more eye contact between the storyteller and the listener. Benefits of storytelling include enhanced imagination, increased vocabulary, and improved communication skills. This article shares some ideas to practice storytelling with your child. Read more from PBS Kids
Summer Slide Resources for Learning Gap
What is the summer slide? Summer Slide is the loss of learning that a child experiences during the summer months when school is not in session. United Way has put together a guide of local resources for families to combat the summer slide including Erie City 2021 Summer Recreation Guide, lists of local nature trails and parks, Little Free Libraries, murals, and other virtual learning resources.

Check out the summer slide guide and flyer over at UnitedWayErie.org/Summer-Slide.
**Sign up for our Raising Readers quarterly newsletter by July 9 to be entered in a chance to win a $100 Walmart gift card or Family Summer Fun Basket!**
Imagination Library Book Spotlight:
Red House, Tree House, Little Bitty Brown Mouse
A little mouse makes her way around the world, and invites preschoolers along as she sets out: Red house / Blue house / Green house / Tree house! / See the tiny mouse in her little brown house? 

Seamless, simple, and inspiring, the rhyming story abounds in concepts for the very young, with a particular focus on colors, and a delightful search-and-find element on every spread–the intrepid mouse herself!

Accompanying Activity for this Book: Color Scavenger Hunt
Your child will have fun recognizing and naming colors as they go on a fun scavenger hunt around the house!

Counting with Color!
Sorting, Counting, and Graphing for Preschoolers
Counting and graphing are early math skills. This color graphing activity incorporates early math skills in a fun color matching activity! Learn more

Color Sorting Sensory Bin
Sensory bins are a fun way to explore and sort with colors. Add some big plastic tweezers or measuring cups for some fine motor development. Learn more
PA Harvest of the Month: Beets
Beets are a superfood! And they're PA's Harvest of the Month!

Each month, a Pennsylvania grown fruit or vegetable is chosen to support local, healthy produce and farmers in our area. Check out these 5 reasons why your kids should eat beets and you should too!
Erie's Future Fund Scholarships Available
Did you know United Way supports Erie's Future Fund Scholarships? Administered by our friends at Early Connections, Erie’s Future Fund financially assists families in preparing their children for kindergarten by providing a scholarship to attend quality programs throughout Erie County.

If your child has up to two years before they enter kindergarten and qualifies for the Erie’s Future Fund scholarship, they will be able to attend an approved high-quality Early Childhood Education Program for 3 full days or 5 half-days a week! Learn more at EriesFutureFund.org or contact Kim Beers, Scholarship Director at (814) 874-0144 ext. 15. Quality early care and education help is available. Learn more
Is your child registered for kindergarten? Now's the time to check your school districts sign up information and make sure your little one is all set up for school this fall.

Find your school district's kindergarten registration information at UnitedWayErie.org/KReady
Erie County Public Library Summer Reading Challenge
Join hundreds of other Erie County kiddos as they accept the Summer Library Challenge hosted by Erie County Friends of the Library and Macaroni Kid Erie!

Little readers are encouraged to read minimally for 12 hours and participate in provided activities between June 15 and August 15. Check out the list of free virtual events for your kiddos to join and discover!

Grab all of those Imagination Library books and sign up for the Summer Library Challenge!
5 Tips for Creating a Summer Reading Environment
Make sure your kiddos are set up with a comfortable reading environment both indoors at your home and outdoors at some of our Local Reading Spots around Erie County!

Check out these 5 tips from Scholastic Parents that will help you and your little ones when setting up this special reading place! Learn more
Erie Family Center's Diaper Depot
Thanks to support from United Way of Erie County, the Erie Family Center's Diaper Depot is now countywide and expanding! Be sure to check out the Erie Family Center for complete information on upcoming Diaper Depot distribution events. Learn more
What's YOUR Favorite Children's Book?
There are SO many children's books out there and United Way Staff wanted to share some of their favorites! Check out what Bill, Stephanie and Damali had to say about their favorite stories and their accompanied read aloud and activities!
Stephanie King - Director of Education
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
"This was one of my favorite books to read when I taught Preschool and to my own children. The story depicts the fun one can have exploring their world after a snowfall. The pictures are beautiful and won Keats a Caldecott Medal!"
Damali Donovan - AmeriCorps VISTA
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister 
"I absolutely adore this book. I remember the day we purchased the book. Every Saturday my parents took my little sister and I to the local bookstore. The flashing rainbow scales caught my attention and read the entire book in a little nook made for little ones in the bookstore. I read the book every day and when we would go snorkeling, I would look for that rainbow fish and it’s friends."
Bill Jackson - President
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter 
"I used to read this book to my now-grown children when they were very young. "
Introducing the Raising Readers Calendar!
Tune into these FREE community and online offerings

Summer is FULL of free kid-friendly activities and events for your family to participate in! See what's in store in Erie County during July 2021!

Stay Connected!

Great information, resources, reading guides and tips are shared on the Imagination Library for Erie County Facebook page. Be sure to Like and Follow the page to stay up to date and informed!

Important Information

Need help? Don't know where to turn? Just dial United Way's 211 helpline. A trained operator will connect you with information about financial assistance, counseling, food/clothing/shelter, health services, substance abuse and much more! It's always free and confidential. You can also text your zip code to 898-211 to be helped by 211.
If you are not receiving books, or have a specific question about the Imagination Library please contact Joanna Peters via email or phone (814) 456-2937 ext. 233.