Tuesday, June 14th, UWFK joined with volunteers from the Key West Sunset Rotary to package over 400 books in Summer Literacy Kits for distribution to students throughout Monroe County.
*Denise Rohrer and UWFK board member Cheryl Sargent packaging literacy kits at the Sunset Rotary meeting on June 14th.
Children who are reading below grade level at the end of third grade are four times less likely to graduate high school on time than their reading proficient peers. For children living in poverty, this statistic is almost tripled. Additionally, more than 80 percent of children from economically disadvantaged communities lose reading skills over the summer because they lack access to books and learning resources. Strong early childhood reading skills can increase literacy and drive up high school graduation rates, ultimately reducing overall poverty in the community.
One of the ways caring people in the Keys are working to combat the cycle of poverty, high school dropout rates, and illiteracy is through early intervention. This summer, United Way of the Florida Keys is working with community partners to distribute over 400 free books to children throughout the Keys. Books are included in literacy kits prepared by volunteers from the Key West Sunset Rotary as part of the United Way “Day of Action”. The kits included free books, pens, alphabet practice sheets, and interactive crafts to help young readers engage with their stories, and will be delivered to children from Tavernier to Key West.
*AmeriCorps VISTA member Chelsea Wait with unpackaged lit kits. Kits included two free books such as Madeleine, Alexander and the No Good Very Bad Day, and Abiyoyo, as well as pens, pencils, tracing sheets, and handmade crafts.
“We are honored to be able to participate in making a difference in children’s lives,” UWFK President and CEO Kate Bauer-Jones said. “Having so many committed volunteers and community members here in the Keys wanting to help make sure every child can build a home library speaks to the value we place on education and the young people of our community. Working with civic organizations, other nonprofit partners, and business partners to build stronger, more caring communities is what United Way is all about.”
*President / CEO Kate Bauer-Jones distributing kits to children at Inez Martin Childcare Development Center.
*Children at Inez Martin receive UWFK literacy kits!
*UWFK board chair Maria Jones, Ann Sandlin, and Chelsea Wait deliver kits to Burton Memorial Childcare Development Center in Tavernier.
UWFK’s literacy kit distribution was made possible by assistance from Thrivent Financial, First Book, and a grant from Kimberley Clark’s Depend brand. Depend and United Way are coming together to promote healthy, active, and independent living throughout an individual's life, with a focus on volunteering. If you are interested in learning more about literacy kit distributions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.