United Way’s Book Drive Targets Summer Reading Loss

Annual Campaign Provides Low-Income Children with Bilingual Summer Reading
 
 
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* San Diego - California - US

SAN DIEGO - April 29, 2014 - PRLog -- The rate at which children from low-income households fall behind in reading proficiency over the summer is alarming – two grade levels behind their peers by the end of fifth grade. United Way has launched its third annual Summer Reading Book Drive to get books into the hands of children to help stem this loss in reading skills.

The book drive goes through May 15, providing bilingual summer reading for economically disadvantaged San Diego children up to age eight.

According to President and CEO Kevin Crawford, a modest donation of $20 will buy books for eight young readers. Individuals and companies are encouraged to make any size donation online at www.UWSD.org or by texting “BOOKS” to 41444.

This year’s books have a double benefit by helping kids focus on healthy eating: “Growing Vegetable Soup”/ “A Sembrar Sopa de Verduras” and “Farmers Market”/ “Día de Mercado.”

The drive culminates on United Way’s annual Day of Action, Saturday, June 21, when 100 volunteers will begin packing books and writing notes to kids. Youngsters throughout the county will receive their own book, a bookmark with an inspirational note and bilingual reading tips for their parents. Books will be distributed through approximately 25 locations across San Diego County that serve kids and their families.

“Many economically disadvantaged families have little or no access to reading material when school is out, and our goal is to help remedy that by providing enjoyable, age-appropriate options,” said Crawford. “Last year, we succeeded in raising more than $62,000 to fund the purchase of nearly 25,000 books, and we are asking the community to help us surpass that number in 2014.”

Crawford notes that fourth grade is an especially important year for children transitioning from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” “Unfortunately,” he said, “over a quarter of San Diego County’s fourth graders do not read proficiently and more than half of San Diego’s students are considered ‘economically disadvantaged.’”

The book drive is sponsored by Boyer Moving & Storage, Cal Water, GEICO, Pratt & Whitney Aeropower, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and the Women’s Leadership Council of United Way.

The general public and local businesses are encouraged to spread the word via social media by visiting www.facebook.com/unitedwaysd and www.twitter.com/liveunitedsd, #iliveunited.

About United Way of San Diego County

United Way of San Diego County is part of a network of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways around the world. Locally, United Way is creating sustainable change in education, financial self-sufficiency, health and homelessness. United Way is leading the regional effort to end chronic homelessness and is a key partner in a number of education initiatives, including managing the City Heights Partnership for Children. We bring together the collective power of nonprofits, community leaders and thousands of individuals to drive social change. LIVE UNITED is a call to action for everyone to get involved by giving, advocating and volunteering. Learn more at www.uwsd.org, our blog (http://www.uwsd.org/blog), Facebook and Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/liveunitedsd).

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Source:United Way of San Diego
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