United Way Literacy Programs to expand in New Britain through an appropriation secured by U.S. Congresswoman Jahana Hayes

Feb.13, 2023

Hartford, Conn. (Feb.13, 2023) — United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut and U.S. Congresswoman Jahana Hayes announce the expansion of literacy programs in New Britain to help ensure that more children read proficiently by the start of fourth grade, a key indicator of future success.

United Way will receive an appropriation of $150,000 from the Community Project Funding, secured by U.S. Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, to expand the United Way Readers program and to start Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in New Britain.

“At United Way, our mission is to bring people and resources together for the well-being of children and families. This is what we have being able to do with these two meaningful programs now extending to New Britain. With these funds, we will increase the impact started with United Way Readers some time ago. This program is a supplemental, volunteer-based program designed to improve the reading proficiency of students grades K-3. The program works within the school system and is situated in under-resourced elementary schools, providing individualized attention to struggling readers,” said Eric Harrison, President and CEO, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut.

Additionally, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library will be launching in New Britain in 2023 as part of this appropriation. This initiative provides free age-appropriate books sent by mail every month to children from birth through age five. This service allows families to build a home library of 60 books for their children enrolled at birth by the time they start kindergarten.

“This $150,000 to fund the Dolly Parton Imagination Library will provide New Britain with additional literacy supports to help move the needle on school readiness and grade-level reading. This proven program will be of tremendous benefit to children and families. I am grateful to the United Way and our partners for advocating on behalf of our community,” said Congresswoman Jahana Hayes.”

In the implementation phase of this the two programs, United Way will partner with New Britain-based organizations to successfully reach families. Human Resources Agency of New Britain, Inc., YWCA, YMCA, New Britain School Readiness Council and the Consolidated School District of New Britain are some of these implementation partners.

“We know how critical the readiness skills are for our children success. We welcome with great pleasure the expansion of United Way Readers and the launching of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library into the New Britain School District for the benefit of our children,” shared Dr. Anthony Gasper, Superintendent, Consolidated School District of New Britain.

Dr. Marlo Greponne, Executive Director of Human Resources Agency of New Britain, Inc., added, “United Way is a great partner for HRA; this is one of many initiatives that we are working together to guarantee our families in New Britain can achieve financial stability and our children succeed in school.”

To learn more about these programs, visit unitedwayinc.org.


About United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut
United Way brings people and resources together to address immediate needs and find long-term solutions to challenging problems. United Way does this by investing in programs and services, leading community change initiatives, and mobilizing resources and volunteers to ensure that children succeed in school, people get jobs and are financially secure, people are healthy and basic needs are met during tough times. For more information, visit unitedwayinc.org.

Media Contact: Anyeline Céspedes López | United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut
acespedes@unitedwayinc.org | 787.502.0436