June 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.
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!
Reading Across Erie County
Summer's almost here and we're getting the chance to get outside and enjoy the magnificent sun rays!

As you may already know, Imagination Library books are funded 100% locally! We at United Way Erie challenge you and your family to take your locally funded books to your favorite outdoor reading spots.

This month, we checked out Picnicana Park on the way out to Waterford. This outdoor venue hosts two playgrounds with merri-go-rounds, a rock wall and even a fire pit. There's plenty of short trails to take the family on a nature walk after reading together. Tons of green space and picnic tables to read aloud with your little ones. Bonus: There's bathrooms and water fountains on site!

Where will your Imagination Library books take you? Share with us on Facebook with the hashtag #ReadAcrossErieCounty!

Local Reading Spots - See where we're reading!
Helping Kids Get Out of Their Comfort Zone
Change is part of life — it’s something we all have to learn to handle. But the huge shifts that have taken place in children’s worlds due to the COVID-19 pandemic are off the charts.

Managing so much change has absorbed all of kids’ energy and has predictably led to some degree of regression for many children. Here’s how to help your child be more flexible, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Imagination Library Book Spotlight: Play with Clay!
Grab some clay or Play-Doh and read along with the author, Jenny Pinkerton! Follow a colorful blob of modeling dough as it forms a ball, rolls into a snake, coils into a pot, and more in this adorable board book!

Children can learn the simple lesson that change is a constant–and they can learn it through art and play! The straightforward narrative paired with quirky visual humor makes this the perfect board book for budding creative kids.

Accompanying Activity for this Book: Make Your Own Play Dough
Grab the kiddos and make your own play dough! This will last for several months in an air-tight container. You can even make your own colors!

Doughing Around
The Benefits of Play Dough in Early Childhood
There are many benefits to young children playing with play dough. This article shares the developmental and sensory benefits of the colored dough. Learn more

Fun Foam Dough
Shaving cream, cornstarch, and food coloring are all you need to make this different type of play dough!
Imagination Library Celebrates Diversity
According to Little Free Library's Read in Color initiative, less than 25% of children’s books depict non-white characters. We created a booklist to showcase these stories and increase awareness around diversity. By doing so, we can teach future generations to be inclusive of everyone's identity despite their differences.
Read in Color works to showcase books that ensure ALL children can find themselves in the stories they read and amplify their voices.
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
Kindergarten Registration: Is YOUR Child Registered?
Mayor Joe Schember and Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper are back in the classroom at Harding Elementary to share an important message with all of you!

Find your school district's kindergarten registration information at UnitedWayErie.org/KReady
Macaroni Kid: 50 Ways to Explore Your Own Backyard
With summer vacation here, the kiddos are ready to get outside and play! Local Asbury Woods Educators have put together a list of 50 different ways to explore your own backyard! Thanks to Macaroni Kid for sharing this article, we think your child will become one with nature after trying out some of these fun activities!

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
Power Kids: Pennsylvania's Electronic Library
We're always searching for extra resources that keep us learning and having fun! Through this interactive library, families can discover together new languages, different cultures, history, online safety and much more.

Upcoming Free Events & Storytimes
While staying home, tune into these FREE community and online offerings

National Pride Month
June is National Pride Month! Check out this list of kid friendly book titles and learn more about pride together with your family. Learn more

Time Out Tuesdays at Perry Square
Looking to get the family out and playing? Bring the family downtown from 4PM to 8PM every Tuesday for an afternoon of sports with provided equipment thanks to Erie Downtown Partnership. Equipment is first come, first serve. Learn more

Twilight Hikes at Asbury Woods
It's time to become night owls and head over to Asbury Woods as the sun sets and the woods come to life! Join Asbury Woods educators on Thursday, June 3 from 7:30PM to 8:30PM as they guide visitors through the different terrains at dusk. Registration required. Register here

National Flag Day
Teach your family about the history of the United States National Flag on Monday, June 14
with these flag crafts! Learn more

Party in the Park at Perry Square
Spend the evening downtown at Perry Square for live music and local food on Thursday, June 10 and June 24 from 7PM to 10PM. Learn more

Read to a Therapy Dog
Join this fun read aloud as Erie County Library reads to a therapy dog! This virtual event takes place on Tuesday, June 15 from 5PM to 5:30PM. Registration required. Learn more

Father's Day
Celebrate dad on Sunday, June 20 with some of these kid-friendly gift ideas! Learn more

Storytime with Erie County Public Library
Tune in for a virtual story time/sing along every Wednesday on Facebook Live from 10AM to 10:30AM! Learn more

Along the Garden Path Tours at Goodell Gardens
Enjoy summertime in Edinboro and join a guided garden tour on Saturday and Sundays from May 1 to July 31 at Goodell Gardens! Tea is provided for all participants. Learn more

Kids' Storytime Mondays at Perry Square
Erie Downtown Partnership is hosting outdoor storytimes every Monday from May 21 to September 27. This event starts at 11AM on Mondays, every child must be with a caregiver. Learn more

Curbside Pickup at Erie County Public Library Branches
Don't forget! ECPL has free curbside pickup for books! Reserve your books through their website. Don't have a library card? Sign up for one using the link! Learn more

Summer Music Series at Goodell Gardens 
Head over to Goodell Gardens in Edinboro for a free concert every Friday during summer. Registration is required. Learn more

Clean and Green Downtown Erie
Help clean downtown Erie with your family and earn a $10 gift card courtesy of Erie Downtown Partnership! Meet at Perry Square from 8AM to Noon. Learn more

Nature Safari at Asbury Woods
Ready for an outdoor adventure? Rain or shine, discover Asbury Woods with a new theme each week every Tuesday from 11AM to Noon starting June 15. Learn more

All About Orangutans
Discover the lives of orangutans with the Erie Zoo and the Erie County Public Library in this virtual event Wednesday, June 16 from 11AM to 11:45AM! Registration required.

Wings of Wonder
Join Tamarack Wild Life Center and Erie County Public Library as we get up close and personal with PA native birds of prey on Friday, June 18, 1PM to 1:30PM. Registration required. Learn more

Movie Mondays in Perry Square
Head to West Perry Square for a family friendly movie showing every last Monday of the month hosted by Erie Downtown Partnership. The show starts at 7PM. Learn more

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.