Orange County United Way’s Early Literacy Initiative encourages parents to play an active, ongoing role in their children’s literacy. Parents are building routines at home and reading to kids at least 15 minutes per day.
Tips for Parents to Get Started in Reading to Kids
Follow these simple steps to put your child on the paths to success:
- Schedule at least 15 minutes every day for reading
- Make reading interactive
- Develop a reward system
When children read better, they image more richly, develop more vocabulary and participate in critical thinking.
United Way’s Little Libraries Promote Early Literacy
United Way has placed 12 Little Free Libraries throughout Orange County. These libraries offer unlimited access to books in areas where books are scarce. With a “take one, leave one” concept, readers can borrow a book and leave a book to share with others. The books are free and replenished by United Way with donations from the community.
Building Strong Partnerships to Encourage Reading to Kids
United Way continues to engage community partners to help spread the word about the Read Aloud campaign. It provides them with relevant materials to encourage reading. Partners play a vital role in creating awareness by displaying these important materials in their businesses or organizations ranging from dental offices, libraries, afterschool programs, shelters, children’s museums to wraparound centers.
If you would like to become a partner or get more information, email Daisy.
Early Literacy Initiative Volunteer: Cathy
United Way hosts more than 25 awareness events annually and volunteers play a key role in providing support to make these events successful. Vounteers like Cathy. She has completed more than 130 community service hours just this year. In addition to being a full-time student at UCLA, having a job and being an intern, she volunteers with United Way since 2016.
“I love being able to give back and serve my community. Even though I am busy with school, work, and other commitments, I make time to come out to support the community. I love seeing kids pick out books and excited to read, it reminds me of myself when I was younger and used books to fuel my imagination. I appreciate the work that United Way has done for and with the community and I am very fortunate to have been a part of it! ” — Cathy
Thank you, Cathy!
How to Get Involved with Early Literacy
There are many ways you can get involved:
- Parents: Read Aloud to your kids 15 minutes per day.
- Businesses and Organizations: Become a Read Aloud partner. Contact Daisy to get more information.
- Everyone: Donate books or watch this short video and share it to spread awareness:
Reading to kids and Early Literacy are vital. Children who aren’t reading at grade level by the end of third grade are four times as likely to drop out of high school. After fourth grade, coursework gets harder and reading proficiency becomes more challenging. Students who don’t read well have increasing difficulty keeping up, leading to bad grades, disengaging from school, and dropping out. The importance of reading is a critical bridge to success in school, work and life. When children read better, they imagine more richly, develop more vocabulary and engage in critical thinking—skills that lead to college and career, and the building blocks for a good quality of life.
If you would like to help, check out the get involved options above, or: