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Volunteers Are Changing Lives as they Read Across America

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

--Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go

For the past 18 years, Read Across America, an event led by the National Education Association and embraced by United Way, mobilizes volunteers across the U.S. to celebrate reading with children on March 2nd, Dr. Seuss’ birthday. In Phoenix, Arizona, Valley of the Sun United Way is celebrating the event for an entire week, with volunteers reading to children at 20 elementary schools.

There are many reasons why reading to and with young children is important. Chief among them is that children who start to develop strong reading skills when they are young are more likely to achieve success during their school years and throughout their adult life. Many young children do not have the opportunity to benefit from being able to read a book with a caring adult. By the end of 3rd grade, many of those children are still struggling to learn to read, when they should be reading to learn.

Here are just a few examples of communities where United Way volunteers are making a difference on Read Across America Day:

--Volunteers from United Way of Coastal Carolina will distribute books from a book drive to local schools in Bern, North Carolina.

--Volunteers from the Women’s Leadership Council of United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg will read to children and create a Dr. Seuss themed craft with children at six childcare centers throughout their region.

--Volunteers from United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut will read to every kindergarten classroom across Hartford and in two schools in New Britain.  

Your local United Way might be involved too; contact them to find out how to get involved in reading with children on March 2nd and throughout the year.

And be sure to check out these general tips for reading with children. When you foster a child’s love of reading, you put them on the path to success in school, work and life.