Celebrating the Importance of Literacy at an Early Age During Read Across America Day

(Canton, OH) March 10, 2020 – Read Across America Day is the nation’s largest celebration of reading for both young and old. Held around Dr. Seuss’ birthday, it is an opportunity to highlight the fun and value in reading, as well as the importance of early literacy.

According to the Ohio Department of Education, school success is built in the early years of a child’s life. Those who are successful in kindergarten are more likely to be successful in third-grade reading and in eighth-grade math. However, those who start kindergarten unprepared are likely to remain behind throughout their education. They are less likely to graduate high school, which means fewer employment opportunities and less stable financial futures. With nearly 19% of Stark County children entering kindergarten unprepared, it is critical to invest in literacy. One of United Way’s goals is to improve kindergarten readiness across our community through home visiting programs, early childhood interventions and high-quality early childcare programs. Read Across America Day is a way to bring awareness to the importance of reading in education and help motivate kids and their parents to read.

“Reading to a young child can help boost their vocabulary,” says Laura Prengaman, Director of Corporate and Volunteer Engagement. “It also helps children connect with content in a meaningful, engaging way, strengthening their connection to school and enhancing their learning abilities.”

To support the community and our children, United Way celebrated Read Across America with two volunteer opportunities. On Friday, February 28, 18 volunteers read to preschoolers at four different learning centers and preschools. Reading sites included JRC Learning Center, McGregor Reading & Math Preparatory School, Towpath Trail YMCA Preschool and YWCA Early Childhood Learning Center. On Monday, March 2, United Way hosted a public story time at Belden Village Mall for around thirty children. Volunteers from SeibertKeck Insurance Partners wore Dr. Seuss character costumers and read stories to the children.

 “We love getting involved within our community,” says Leah Schrock, Creative Marketing Specialist at SeibertKeck Insurance Partners, “and we’re so excited to volunteer for Read Across America. SeibertKeck Insurance Partners prides itself on our community involvement and giving back.”

Stark Library also joined in on Read Across America at Belden Village Mall, passing out information about reading and education programs available in the community.

For more information about volunteer engagement events, contact Laura at 330-491-9953 or email [email protected].

About United Way of Greater Stark County
United Way of Greater Stark County fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. We win by living United. By forging unlikely partnerships. By finding new solutions to old problems. By mobilizing the best resources. And by inspiring individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crisis. Our mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our communities in Greater Stark County. In order to live better, we must live United. For more information about United Way of Greater Stark County visit www.uwstark.org. Offices are at 401 Market Avenue North, Suite 300, Canton, Ohio 44702. (330) 491-0445. ###