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Memo from UWHC President: Help UWHC make a difference in education

"Help UWHC put books in the homes of children throughout Hays County."

--A letter from Michelle Harper, United Way of Hays County President/CEO

Like many of you, our family has a bed-time ritual in our household…take a bath, brush your teeth, get in bed and read books, lots of books.  Even before our son was born, we had amassed a collection of books that we could read at bedtime.  Over the years the favorites have changed.  “Moo Baa LaLaLa” has given away to “RescueBots” and “Spiderman,” but the ritual of reading has remained the same.  We aren’t just fostering our son’s love of reading, but making memories that will last a lifetime.

Sadly, though, many families throughout Hays County cannot make the same memories with their children and it isn’t because they don’t want to.  These families in our community simply do not have access to books in their homes that they can read to their children. 

For the past two years, United Way of Hays County has been working to increase the number of books in Hays County families’ homes by providing one new book for children born at Central Texas Medical Center or Seton Hays through the Born Learning/Born to Read program.  This initiative gives parents tips and strategies on how to use everyday activities to expand their child’s literacy skills and stresses the importance of reading.

I am proud that United Way of Hays County not only gives parents tools to teach their children but that we are jump-starting the home libraries of Hays County families. But children need access to multiple books that are high-quality and age-appropriate.  That is where the Early Readers Become Leaders Book Drive comes in.

This book drive, spearheaded by United Way of Hays County, Texas State University, the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce and other partners in S.O.A.R (Seeking Opportunities, Achieving Results), is working to increase the number of books families have access to in their homes by raising funds to purchase high-quality, age-appropriate books for children ages 0-5 in Hays County.  These books will then be distributed to children enrolled in San Marcos CISD pre-k classes and HeadStart programs throughout Hays County.

If enough funds are raised, we will be able to purchase and distribute two additional books for every child born in Hays County. But we need YOUR help to expand these home libraries.

By donating to the Early Readers Become Leaders Book Drive, you are putting books in the homes of children throughout Hays County. YOU can be the reason why these families in need have the opportunity to foster a love of reading in their child, help them be better prepared for learning and make memories that will last a lifetime. Every dollar counts!  A donation of $25 is enough to purchase books for one child; $50 can provide a home library for two children and $100 for four children. A whole classroom of pre-k students can be gifted a bag of book for a donation of $500.

For more information on the Early Readers Become Leaders Book Drive and to donate, please visit www.unitedwayhaysco.org/early-readers-become-leaders-2014 or call the United Way office at 512.353.1420.