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United Way Volunteers Take Action for Early Childhood Literacy

Local volunteers from United Way of Hays County will address the importance of early childhood education during United Way Day of Action on Friday, June 21. That morning, dozens of volunteers will fan out across Hays County to read to young students at childcare centers, as well as donate books and materials for use by teachers and parents at each center.  The day will close with a reception at the San Marcos Activity Center from 5:30pm-7:00pm to kick-off the Early Readers Become Leaders book drive.

United Way Day of Action is an annual day during which hundreds of United Ways across the nation participate by hosting events that address critical issues in their unique communities. United Way of Hays County chose early childhood education and reading for Day of Action this year in alignment with current programming and assessment of critical issues in Hays County.

 “A study on education in Central Texas revealed that only 52% of children entering kindergarten in 2011 were equipped with “school-readiness” skills; basic skills such as identifying letters, colors, shapes, sounds and other basics,” says Michelle Harper, United Way of Hays County Executive Director.

An evening reception will kick off the Early Readers Become Leaders book drive, a San Marcos Chamber of Commerce event, chaired by United Way, which hopes to raise 42,000 books for local children and child-centered programs. The reception will also celebrate the community partners involved in ensuring that children have access to books throughout the year. Attendees are encouraged to bring books to donate.

 “Our United Way has decided to raise awareness about early education and reading as a foundational step,” says Harper. “Reading and education as a whole are the groundwork for a successful future, and are key for reducing drop-out rates and increasing likeliness to follow a path to higher education and career advancement.”

Day of Action will utilize volunteers from Buda, Dripping Springs, Kyle, San Marcos and Wimberley. If you are interested in volunteering to read at a childcare center near you or for more information about the Early Readers Become Leaders mixer please call 512.353.1420 or email unitedway@centurytel.net