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PPL Foundation Helping People and Communities in Hazleton Area
More than $120,000 will be donated to organizations in the region

Child literacy has brought together a pre-school reading program connected to a country music icon, the United Way of Greater Hazleton and the PPL Foundation.

The foundation announced today it is awarding a $15,000 grant to the United Way to enable the United Way to expand their partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. The library program provides enrolled children with one free book each month from birth to age 5 for a total of 60 books.  The United Way will partner with the Hazleton Area School District in 2019 to look at kindergarten readiness statistics for the first group of Hazleton region newborns registered.

The PPL Foundation grant will cover the cost for the United Way to register 100 children.

“Giving children a great start in reading is a cornerstone to their success in school,” said Alana Roberts, regional affairs director for PPL Electric Utilities. “We’re excited to be able to work with two great groups in this effort. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library has been recognized by the Library of Congress for its efforts in boosting childhood literacy.”

The awards announced today (6/28) will support a variety of projects in PPL Foundation’s focus areas: education, workforce development and community revitalization. The Foundation’s Sustaining Grants, ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 each, provide organizations with funding for specific projects or general operating funds.

In addition to the grant to the United Way of Greater Hazleton for the Dolly Parton library program, other initiatives and projects in northeast Pennsylvania that received support through the PPL Foundation Sustaining Grant program include:

  • CAN DO Foundation, Hazleton, received a $20,000 grant to help fund a small-business incubator in downtown Hazleton.

  • Wilkes University Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development received $10,000 to research and report on indicators important to the region regarding education, the workforce, jobs, economic development, the economy, housing, health and healthcare, energy, public safety, and planning of land use, transportation and infrastructure.

  • Diamond City Partnership, Wilkes-Barre received a $5,000 to support the group’s downtown retail recruitment initiative.

  • Pennsylvania Envirothon received $8,000 for its events organized in cooperation with county conservation districts.

  • Lacawac Sanctuary received a $6,000 grant to support its Youth Engaging Science (YES) program.

In addition, grants went to the organizations below for the listed mission or program:

  • Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress ($5,000) — Main Street program

  • Hazleton Integration Project Inc. ($5,000) — After School Scholars program

  • Concerned Parents of the Hazleton Area ($1,000) — Scholarships for English as second language classes

  • Greater Hazleton Area Civic Partnership ($2,000) — Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails

  • Scranton Neighborhood Housing Services ($2,500) — Light the Town initiative

  • Employment Opportunity & Training Center of Northeastern Pa. ($5,000) — Job Group career services

  • Pocono Environmental Education Center ($5,000) — sustainable energy education

  • Skills in Scranton Business Education Partnership ($5,000) — public utility workforce development

  • Upper Delaware Preservation Coalition ($3,000) — Delaware River Sojourn Project

  • Brodhead Watershed Association ($3,000) — Adopt-A-Stream Program

  • Scranton Area Foundation Inc. ($2,000) — Women in Philanthropy’s STEAM Launch Event

  • Catholic Social Services, Diocese of Scranton ($1,000) — Big Brothers Big Sisters in Monroe County

  • Honesdale Communities That Care ($1,000) — Academic assistance for underprivileged children

  • Leadership Lackawanna ($1,000) — program support

Additionally, contributions were made to the Osterhout Free Library and other literacy-focused organizations in support of Cover to Cover, the PPL Foundation’s new initiative to improve child literacy through reading and summer learning programs.

A complete list of grant recipients is available online.

PPL is committed to supporting communities across its 29-county service area and providing tools that help empower economic vitality.

The PPL Foundation awards grants in spring and fall. The next grant cycle — for major grants — begins in August. To be considered for a grant, all organizations must apply online.

Please visit to learn more.

About the PPL Foundation: Through strategic partnerships, the PPL Foundation supports organizations that are doing innovative and groundbreaking work to create vital, sustainable communities and empowering each citizen to fulfill her or his potential. The PPL Foundation contributes more than $2 million annually to a wide variety of nonprofit organizations in north and central Pennsylvania.

For further information: Alana Roberts, 610-774-5997
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