Literacy Kits Assembled and Distributed for Middle School Children in Southeast Canton

(Stark and Carroll Counties, OH) April 15, 2021 Around 50 volunteers assembled 300 literacy kits to help provide children with multi-sensory experiences to support and expand on concepts included in the book. 

United Way of Greater Stark County’s Young Leaders Society (YLS) received a generous gift from C.A.S.T. (Caring and Serving Together) to invest it back into the community through one of their education initiatives. 

“C.A.S.T. values our relationship with United Way’s Young Leaders Society,” said Tom Venturella, past Board member of C.A.S.T. and Director of the CAMP Program. “We were pleased to help them achieve their serving goals.” 

Kit supplies were picked up with a drive-up contactless format. Volunteers assembled them at home with their families and returned the completed kits to YLS. Each kit contained a book, coordinating activities, stress ball, journal, pen, snack, and an encouraging note from the volunteer, all assembled in a drawstring bag. 

“Too many children are affected by Canton’s high poverty rate,” said Autaum Kendle, Vice-Chair of the YLS Steering Committee. “In an effort to support them and encourage their love of reading and learning, the literacy kits were assembled for middle school children in Southeast Canton. We are proud to put a powerful resource in children’s hands and extremely grateful to C.A.S.T. for their financial support to make this project possible.”

Literacy kits assist in bridging the gap between online and face-to-face learning and help to build home libraries for the family. These kits are very important considering the past year of social distancing and online learning. 

“Our hope with this project is to not only provide books to children who might not have access to many at home but also to show encouragement and support from their community,” said Laura Prengaman, Assistant Director of Campaign at United Way of Greater Stark County. 

The kits have been distributed to agencies serving these children through Greater Stark County Urban League, Lighthouse Ministries of Canton, STEAMM Academy at Hartford, and Tiqvah Hands of Hope.

For more information about Young Leaders Society or this project, contact Laura Prengaman, Assistant Director of Campaign at 330-491-9953 or email laura.prengaman@uwstark.org.

About Young Leaders Society

United Way’s Young Leaders Society is a group of passionate young professionals who come together to educate, engage and inspire individuals across Greater Stark County. They harness their time and talents through mentorship, fundraising and volunteerism to activate education initiatives and build a better community. Education sets the foundation for the future, and it is the area where they believe they can make the greatest impact. As young leaders, their personal and professional success would not have been possible without support from mentors, teachers and advocates who helped along the way. Now they’re paying it forward for the next generation. More information is available online

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 the quality of life in our communities by leading in the development of solutions to critical social issues in the areas of health, education and financial stability. In order to live better, we must live United. For more information about United Way of Greater Stark County visit uwstark.org. Offices are at 401 Market Avenue North, Suite 300, Canton, Ohio 44702. (330) 491-0445.

About C.A.S.T. (Caring and Serving Together)

C.A.S.T. represents a diverse group of both adults and students who feel we are truly blessed to be a blessing and long to give back in our community. They are a volunteer organization that exists to strengthen community life, serve the needy in Canton and Stark County, and honor God by sharing our time, talents, and generosity. More information is available online.