Lincoln Elementary program part of national Read Across America celebration and Orange County United Way’s “Read Aloud 15 Minutes” campaign to promote early grade reading
Santa Ana, CA – On March 2, students at Lincoln Elementary School joined tens of thousands of students nationwide participating in “Read Across America Day” by reading Dr. Seuss’s classic The Cat in the Hat and other Seuss favorites.
The local event, which took place on what would have been Dr. Seuss’ 113th birthday, was spearheaded by Orange County United Way in partnership with the Santa Ana Unified School District. It also serves as the kickoff to “Read Aloud” Month, when parents, caregivers and teachers are encouraged to read with children out loud for 15 minutes every day.
United Way staff and volunteers along with local corporate and education leaders read with students in their classrooms this morning. One of those was Orange County United Way CEO Max Gardner.
“I just love reading with the kids every year, seeing their eyes light up when you first open the book; it’s like they enter a whole new world,” said Gardner. “We encourage parents, teachers and anybody else responsible for the care of young children to embrace spending time reading with kids, not just for a day or a month, but to put reading on the calendar 365 days a year.”
Studies show that when parents read to their young children, those kids are more likely to read proficiently by the end of third grade, a key milestone on the road to on-time graduation. Because early grade reading is a key benchmark for academic achievement, it is a vital component of United Way’s 10-year communitywide plan to cut the local high school dropout rate in half by 2024.
Joining Gardner and United Way volunteers reading to students at Lincoln Elementary were team members from the Automobile Club of Southern California, Superintendent Dr. Stefanie Phillips from the Santa Ana Unified School District, and officers from the Santa Ana Police Department. They all participated in the morning activity in recognition of the important role reading plays in the community.
“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate reading than opening a book by Dr. Seuss,” said Brian Deephouse, Vice President and Chief Actuary at the Auto Club of Southern California and its United Way Executive Campaign Chair for 2017. “His books inspire children to use their imaginations and see first-hand the power of words and their ability to unlock unlimited possibilities. Equally important, Dr. Seuss books have long been known to fire up a life-long passion for reading, a skill that’s so fundamental to the long term educational success that AAA hopes to bring these kids.”
For more information about OC Reads, other Orange County United Way’s early grade reading programs www.ocreads.com. To see photos from the event, visit the Read Across America photo gallery.
ABOUT ORANGE COUNTY UNITED WAY:
Established in 1924, Orange County United Way fights for the education, health, housing and financial stability of every person in Orange County. Through our 10-year community-wide action plan, “FACE 2024” (an acronym for Fund, Advocate, Collaborate, Educate), by 2024 United Way will cut the high school dropout rate in half, increase healthy youth by one-third, cut the percentage of homeless or unstably housed children and families in half and reduced financial instability by 25%. By mobilizing local businesses, community organizations, governmental agencies and individuals, we make a long-term measurable difference in the lives of local individuals and families. To learn more or to join our movement, visit www.unitedwayoc.org.
Katherine Ransom, Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Orange County United Way 949.263.6176, firstname.lastname@example.org
21Strat 949.981.5008, email@example.com
ABOUT ORANGE COUNTY UNITED WAY:
Since 1924, Orange County United Way has been working to improve lives and strengthen our community by mobilizing the caring power of Orange County, by focusing on the building blocks for a good quality of life: Education, Income, Health and Housing. By investing in Orange County’s children, families and individuals, we help them create pathways to self-sufficient futures through education and training. In short, we help people help themselves. Through our 10-year community-wide action plan “FACE 2024” (an acronym for Fund, Advocate, Collaborate, Educate), United Way is mobilizing local businesses, community organizations, governmental agencies and individuals to make a long-term measurable difference in the lives of local individuals and families. To learn more or to join our movement, visit www.unitedwayoc.org.