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West MI men are putting their beards on the line for childhood literacy

The "Beards for Books" campaign raises money for children to receive books every month.

MUSKEGON, Mich — Nearly 30 men are putting their beards on the line to raise awareness and funds for childhood literacy. 

"Beards for Books" is a fundraising campaign with the United Way on the Lakeshore. Men in Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana Counties are growing out their beards to raise money for the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program. The program mails a book to children each month. 

5,000 children in the community are enrolled in the program. While the Imagination Library pays for the books, the United Way provides the shipping. 

Each man has created their own fundraising goal. At the end of March, which is Reading Month, they will shave their beards when they meet their fundraising goal. 

"Right now in Muskegon County, over 60% of our kids in third grade are not reading proficiently," said Dom Bunker, community engagement director for the United Way of the Lakeshore. "Yes, the schools are doing everything can and everything they need, but some kids need a little extra help. So, if we’re starting early, with a child at home getting ready for kindergarten, it’s less catch up that they have to do later in life."

The men will be posting updates on social media throughout the process. You can view more information about each participant and their goal here.

RELATED VIDEO: Ottawa Hills High School teacher creates a classroom library

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