Parents and guardians are invited to become “reading buddies” with their infants and young children.

As part of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program managed by the United Way of Erie County, a free program for adult caretakers of children will be held Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Corry Public Library.

No registration is required. Adults — and their children — are invited to attend.

Participants will be taught how to help their children get the most out of reading books. The goal is to help children under the age of 5 become active readers so they are prepared to enter kindergarten.

The program will be led by library staff members and community volunteers who have been trained on early childhood literacy and proven methods to enhance the reading experience with children. Training through the “Reading Buddies” program was provided free by the United Way.

Corry is the first community outside the city of Erie to hold the program for adult caregivers.

“We will work with parents and guardians so they know how to leverage having books in their house for their kids,” said Laurie Root, vice president for investor relations for the United Way, who is leading the Imagination Library program locally.

Root said adults would be offered tips, such as turning off distractions like the television and cellphones while they are reading with their children. Adults also will be given materials to take home.

“They will learn what to expect in the first year of the Imagination Library program,” Root said. “They will also learn about a child’s development and what impact reading will have on the rest of their lives.”

Adults are encouraged to bring their children. There will be story times, crafts and activities for the kids, and refreshments will be served, too.

Also, a $50 gift certificate to a local store will be given away, but you must be present to win.

Tracy Blair, Corry’s children’s librarian, said three trained staff members and six additional trained volunteers would be on hand to help adult participants.

“We’ll hold a group session, and then we’ll break into smaller groups for more hands-on training,” Blair said.

Blair said she’s glad that the Corry library was selected to be a part of the Imagination Library and Reading Buddies program.

“We asked, ‘What can we do to help?’” she said. “What better place than in a library.”

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