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Improving access to books and reading materials for our Hays County youth. 

For many families in Hays County each month is a careful financial balance between needs and wants. The balance consists of affording basic necessities such as housing, food, utilities, clothes and gas, while struggling to provide extras for their growing families. United Way of Hays County LIVE UNITED Library is a year round initiative to provide families and young students with access to books, that they might not otherwise have access to. 

Improving literacy has been shown to be a way to break the cycle of poverty as well as assist in moving students further in educational success. Studies have suggested a strong positive correlation between the volume of reading materials available at home, and the levels of educational attainment and success. Further studies have linked low-literacy rates to poverty, poor health, crime and dependence on social welfare systems.

United Way of Hays County is working to ensure that even our youngest residents have access to quality reading materials and literacy opportunities. Each year, UWHC gives local children and families thousands of books, free of charge, to take home and add to their at-home library.

The LIVE UNITED Library is an initiative to:
Improve school-readiness for children entering kindergarten
Ensure that students have tools to ensure they are reading on grade-level by third grade
Help further students' success by improving high-school graduation rates

Books that comprise the LIVE UNITED Library come from a combination of donations from Half Price Books store in San Marcos, the SOAR Early Readers Become Leaders book drive, the First Book organization and some donations made by individuals. Throughout the year, UWHC hosts book distributions at community events, local childcare centers and other awareness events. UWHC also produces literacy events throughout the year that include guest readers, activities for children and book distributions. Read more about the United Way of Hays County Sunday Stories program.

Be involved!

There are numerous ways for individuals, groups and businesses to be involved! Help spread the joy of reading to our Hays County youth.

  • Donate to the LIVE UNITED Library. Contributions are needed, throughout the year, to purchase new age-appropriate books for young readers to enjoy.
  • Advocate on behalf of Hays youth. Our children are our future adults, let's work together to give them a great start! Follow UWHC on Facebook  or on Twitter for current updates and posts to share with friends and followers. Make some noise for United Way!
  • Volunteer to help with Sunday Stories. Guest readers spend 1hr on the second Sunday of the month reading books and helping children with fun themed-crafts at the public library. Click here for more information.
  • Join UWHC at a literacy awareness event or book distribution, held throughout the year. Visit http://getconnected.unitedwayhaysco.org/ for a current listing of events and volunteer opportunities.