[Alexandria, VA] [December 3] – As part of the second annual #GivingTuesday, United Way TEAM NFL and In2Books are joining forces to help kids improve their reading skills.
Since 2011, United Way and In2Books have brought the eMentoring literacy program to communities throughout the United States. Facilitated through a classroom or afterschool environment, In2Books is helping students in grades 3-5 read better by pairing them with adult mentors in a safe online learning environment. The partnership is part of a United Way effort to recruit one million volunteer readers, tutors and mentors (http://unitedway.org/volunteer), promote reading and writing skills and instill a passion for learning.
United Way recently teamed up with In2Books to bring an eMentoring literacy program to United Way TEAM NFL during the 2013-14 school year. The program targets students in grades 3-6 and connects them with caring adult volunteers from local businesses and organizations to mobilize communities to improve the quality of literacy instruction. United Way TEAM NFL ambassadors are getting involved by “adopting” classrooms.
“United Way and our TEAM NFL ambassadors were drawn to the In2Books eMentoring program because it eliminates the barriers that prevent busy professionals from volunteering,” says Peter Hahn, a spokesperson for United Way. “Now you can log in as a mentor from a computer anywhere in the world, at any hour of the day.”
Through In2Books, students and mentors share ideas through online correspondence about books students love. The Pen Pal Place website helps mentors create letters that inspire young readers and improve their reading, writing and thinking skills. These skills are some of the fundamental competencies required by the Common Core State ELA Standards (http://www.corestandards.org/) -- a U.S. education initiative adopted by 44 states and the District of Columbia as essential for preparing students to graduate from high school as well as future college education and careers.
“You’ll be helping children build literacy and thinking skills as they gain insights about their world, your world and life’s unlimited opportunities. From my own experience as a mentor, I know that it’s a magical process that will energize you while dramatically affecting the students you encourage,” says Katya Andresen, President/COO of ePals, Inc.
Individuals can sign up to mentor a child as an online pen pal, building reading, thinking and writing skills children need to succeed in school and in life. Or, spread the word or donate money to help keep the program running. Visit http://in2books.epals.com
Groups can become an In2Books sponsor and provide volunteer mentors or funding.
This eMentoring project helps address educational inequity in schools across the U.S. to make a real difference in children’s lives and strengthen communities. Students who read better get better jobs, earn more income and live healthier lives, improving the quality of life for everyone.
About UNITED WAY
United Way is a worldwide movement of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways in 41 countries and territories. It advances the common good by focusing on education, income and health—the building blocks for a good quality life. The United Way movement mobilizes millions to action—to give, advocate and volunteer—to improve conditions in their local community. For more information about United Way, please visit: UnitedWay.org.
In2Books is a program that supports a community of learners—students, educators, families, community organizations, corporations and mentors—with its intriguing collaborative learning experiences and thought-provoking books. By reading, writing, and thinking about the same books and using related In2Books resources, this continuous support network develops intellectual relationships that challenge and motivate students. At the same time, students gain insight into how adults think about books and express ideas, and learn about diverse interests, points of view and career choices.