United Way volunteers read to classrooms across Lubbock County

United Way volunteers read to classrooms across Lubbock County

November 6, 2020 | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Lubbock Area United Way hosted its third annual United We Read event on Thursday. More than 200 volunteers read to both in-person and virtual second-grade classrooms in the nine Lubbock County school districts. Approximately 3,600 students participated in the event.

Volunteers and students read "The Word Collector" by Peter H. Reynolds and participated in activities based on the book. In the book, Jerome discovers the magic of the words around him and how words can connect, transform, and empower.

Reynolds sent a video message to students saying, “keep collecting your words, and may they inspire you to tell your own story. The world needs your voice. We need you to make this world a better place.”

Thanks to event sponsors Amerigroup, Atmos Energy, Betenbough Homes, Covenant Children’s, First United Bank, Scholastic Book, and United Supermarkets, every child went home with a copy of the book and a craft to go along with the story.

Volunteers read to Lubbock area second-graders Thursday as part of the annual United We Read event hosted by Lubbock Area United Way.
Community Impact Director Devin McCain said, ”Although we could not visit all classrooms, in the same way, this year, we wanted to continue to emphasize the importance of reading and the impact it has on students’ future success in school and life. We also wanted to provide a positive, safe, and fun event for students and teachers.”

United We Read focuses on second-grade classrooms to highlight the importance of students being grade-level readers by third grade. At this point, students who have not mastered basic reading skills will begin to fall behind in every area of study as classrooms shift from learning how to read to reading to learn. Children who do not meet this milestone are more likely to struggle academically and eventually drop out of school. The event also emphasizes the importance of parents and caregivers reading to and with their children.

In addition to the volunteers who participated on the day of the event, many volunteer groups and individuals helped beforehand, sorting craft supplies, separating books and materials by classroom, and delivering materials to schools. United Way also provided 157 books in Spanish for ESL households.

To learn more about United We Read, visit www.liveunitedlubbock.org/unitedweread.