World Book Day: A Day Where Dreams Come True

Everyone has a dream. Thanks to your support of Sioux Empire United Way, you are helping make dreams come true every month through the gift of reading.

In 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library began inspiring a love of reading by gifting books to children from birth to age five. Since its inception, the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has provided over 200 million books to registered children. Every month, a new, age-appropriate book is sent out to each child enrolled in the program. For some, it’s like a dream come true - something that rests close to Dolly’s heart.

“I know there are children in your community with their own dreams,” adds Dolly. "Who knows what they all could be? But the seeds of these dreams are often found in books and the seeds you help plant in your community can grow across the world.”

After launching, the program quickly grew and turned into a global initiative. Here in the Sioux Empire, over 121,000 books were delivered to children last year alone. Imagine what an impact this has on the community!

Reading and Raising

“No gift is too small; every dollar counts and is greatly appreciated.” These are familiar words at Sioux Empire United Way during campaign season and throughout the year. So why not extend this opportunity to those who have directly benefited from the program?

That’s right. The very kids that grew up on Dolly’s books are now young philanthropists thanks to a fundraising effort spearheaded by Sioux Empire United Way. It’s called Coins for Kids and was launched in 1998. Each year, area schools join forces to raise money for our local Imagination Library program. SEUW’s Coins for Kids program continues to be a great way to give back.

The concept is simple. Students are provided small change canisters that are to be filled with coins and returned to the school. The coins are collected and counted thanks to volunteers from The First National Bank in Sioux Falls. All funds collected through the Coins for Kids program go directly to providing free books to Sioux Empire children. This joint effort is another way the community shows its support for this beloved program.

Over the years, the Coins for Kids Program has expanded to schools across the Sioux Empire. But it’s not just about the dollars raised, it’s spreading awareness of a Sioux Empire United Way-funded program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Participating schools raised almost $25,000 during the current school year, putting nearly 12,000 books in the hands of children under age five.

Thanks to the following schools for their participation in Coins for Kids:

  • Baltic Elementary School
  • Lennox Elementary School
  • Sioux Falls School District Elementary Schools
  • Tea Area Elementary Schools
  • Worthing Elementary

Children enrolled at birth will receive a total of 60 books by the time they start kindergarten. During these formative years, these books are building a wonderful, personal library and developing a love of reading and learning that is priceless.

Learn more about the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library or sign your child up here. If your school is interested in participating in the Coins for Kids Program, reach out to to learn more.