Maibec, Inc. of Masardis and its employees have recently donated $1,500 to United Way of Aroostook’s early literacy program, the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

The Masardis Mill is an active wood processing plant which has provided high-quality lumber to its customers for more than 50 years under various owners and names.

Its management and employees believe service and dedication to the communities they serve are of utmost importance.

Ben Lothrop, Human Resources Manager said,

“We at Maibec are just looking to give back and support the community.  We want to help keep improving Aroostook County, and this reading program is a super way to do that!  Helping children get an early start on reading is something we are proud and happy to support!”

Currently, the United Way of Aroostook is sending out more than 2,200 books each month to preschoolers enrolled in the program.

Since it’s 2010 inception in Aroostook, more than 85,000 books have been given to children and their families throughout Aroostook County. It is the largest program of it’s kind in the state.

According to Athena Hallowell, Program & Volunteer Coordinator,

“We strongly believe a key to future success is early literacy. The Imagination Library puts high-quality, age-appropriate books in the hands of children and it also provides parents with great suggestions on ways to interact with their children and the books.  These interactions are helpful in promoting early reading skills, which will help with kindergarten readiness. It’s just a great program United Way is proud to support.”

The program is open to any Aroostook County child between the ages of birth and five years of age. 

All County hospitals support the program and encourage new parents to register their newborns before ever leaving the hospital.

Parents can also register their children online at https://imaginationlibrary.com/.

Although the program is costly, United Way and its Board of Directors are dedicated to supporting it and look for creative ways to fund it.

Each book has a cost of $2.12 with the program running just over $60,000 per year.   Having the support of Maibec, Inc. is greatly appreciated.

Sherry Locke, Executive Director of the United Way of Aroostook, said,

“We are so excited to have Maibec, Inc. on board in helping us promote early childhood literacy.  We are grateful for their partnership and support of the work we do. Having businesses and organizations taking an active role in improving Aroostook’s future is important for its success.  We are currently looking for additional sponsors, so we can continue to provide this program to all Aroostook County preschoolers.”

For more information about United Way of Aroostook or the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library visit UWA’s website at www.unitedwayaroostook.org or call the office at (207) 764-5197.