Support Raising Readers in the Heartland!

Support Raising Readers in the Heartland! image

Help Get FREE Books to Polk County Children!

Who is Raising Readers in the Heartland (RRITH)?

  • RRITH’s mission is to inspire a life-long love of reading by providing FREE, high-quality books for all 36,000 children from birth to age five who live in Polk County, IA, regardless of socioeconomic level or zip code.
  • RRITH is an affiliate of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL), which has mailed over 230 million free books since 1995 (more than two million each month).
  • DPIL provides cost-effective books to local affiliates across the US, who raise money to operate DPIL programs and support its mission.

Why is targeting early childhood literacy important?

  • One in four children in the US grows up without learning to read (WriteExpress Corp., 2014).
  • Children who are read to at least 3 times a week are almost twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading compared to those who are read to less than three times per week (US DOE, 2002).
  • By age 3, 85% of the brain’s core structure is formed. By age 5, the brain is 90% formed (Ypsilanti, 2005).