21 Aug 2014
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Statewide 'United We Read' Program to Increase Literacy and Early Grade Learning

Local United Ways across the state are participating in United We Read, a childhood literacy initiative spearheaded by United Way organizations around the state  that are a part of the Michigan Association of United Ways (MAUW). The goal of the United We Read initiative is to increase literacy and early grade achievement and provide children with direct access to reading resources.

 

“Improving childhood literacy is critical to creating educated, productive citizens within our communities. Children who read well do better in school and are more likely to graduate, leading to a more successful future,” said Scott Dzurka, president & CEO of the Michigan Association of United Ways. “We hope to reach this long-term goal through our work with United We Read; by helping children keep up or improve their reading skills in the short term.”

 

United We Read is a statewide initiative launched by MAUW to incorporate literacy support throughout Michigan, especially in communities with vulnerable children. United We Readincreases literacy and early grade learning by providing direct access to reading resources while building awareness of literacy issues.

 

According to the American Educational Research Association, a third-grader who can’t read at grade level is four times less likely to graduate from high school. If that student lives in poverty, the likelihood of dropping out is 13 times higher.

 

United We Read is an excellent opportunity for all community members to engage in childhood literacy in Michigan. Opportunities for involvement will be available year-round and vary by location. They may include book donations, tutoring sessions, one-on-one readings and other activities. On June 21’s United Way Day of Action, several United Way organizations throughout Michigan will be hosting activities and events to promote literacy and bring awareness to the United We Read program, while also encouraging community volunteerism.

 

Each year on June 21, United Ways hold a Day of Action, inviting people and organizations around the world to live united and take action to address a variety of challenges. It is a day on which United Way encourages volunteerism, or the commitment to volunteer, to put its mission into action by improving the building blocks for a good quality of life – education, income and health.

 

United Way locations throughout Michigan are calling on local residents to support United We Read by taking action on June 21’s Day of Action by looking into literacy program volunteer opportunities that are taking place throughout the year or donating reading and school-related materials. Contact your local United Way for opportunities taking place in a community near you.

 

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About Michigan Association of United Ways

Michigan Association of United Ways (MAUW) is a partner in developing powerful responses to current and emerging issues in local communities. The state association provides leadership in policy influence and capacity building to affect positive change. MAUW serves approximately60 local United Ways that represent the largest network of non-governmental service providers and service funders in Michigan, collectively raising and distributing significant resources to support local health and human service organizations.

 

 

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