Shineman Awards $63,000 to Imagination Library in Oswego County

Awarded a grant on behalf of The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County in order to maintain and support the future growth of Imagination Library in the county. The program aims to provide a free, age appropriate book once a month to every child from birth to age 5.


The Richard S. Shineman Foundation recently awarded a $63,000 grant to the United Way of Greater Oswego County, (UWGOC), in support of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program, it was announced by Patrick Dewine, UWGOC executive director and co-director of the Oswego County Imagination Library program.

The Imagination Library program is administered by the Literacy Coalition of Oswego County (LCOC) in partnership with the UWGOC. Dewine, and LCOC past president Michael Egan direct the program.

“We are extremely grateful to the Richard S. Shineman Foundation for their support of this thriving program in Oswego County,” Dewine said. “In addition to helping with book purchases, the grant will allow us to purchase software for program management, secure the services of a fundraising consultant, and hire a part-time assistant to help run the program. It’s really a tremendous boost to our program and will help us work toward our goal of becoming self-sustaining.”

Paul Gugel, LCOC president, said that the Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until their fifth birthday, regardless of the family’s income. Every school district in Oswego County participates in the program. The program registered its first children in November 2018. As of April 30, 2022, there are 2,776 (43.7%) of age-eligible children actively participating in the program. In addition, 1,309 children have graduated. Over 70,000 books have been distributed to children residing in Oswego County. For more information, go to: https://imaginationlibrary.com/us/affiliate/NYOSWEGO/ or contact Patrick Dewine at 315-593-1900, or patrick@oswegounitedway.org.

“The Shineman Foundation board was impressed with what Imagination Library has accomplished in the last three-and-a-half years,” said Karen Goetz, executive director. “We are pleased to provide this funding to assist the organization in growing the program and becoming self-sustaining.”

The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County is a coalition of local organizations and individuals dedicated to improving literacy in our county. The LCOC works to address the literacy needs of people of all ages. The areas it covers include basic literacy, workforce literacy, computer literacy, health literacy, and financial literacy. “The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County is dedicated to supporting and expanding literacy services so that people can work, our economy can grow, families can thrive, and our community can prosper,” Gugel said.

For more information about The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County, visit https://www.literacycoalitionofoswegocounty.com or find them on Facebook.