Studies have found that children whose caregivers read to them for twenty minutes a day find reading enjoyable and are ready to enter school with early literacy skills. It sounds so simple, yet 54.6% of children in Centre County are at risk for poor school performance. (PA Department of Child Development and Early Learning) The Centre County United Way Partner Network wants to give all kids in Centre County the chance to enter school with the skills they need to experience success as they progress through graduation and beyond. To that end, the Partner Network will launch the “Raising Readers” program on March 27, 2017 with a book drive.
Partner Network agencies are asking for donations of new or like new books for small children who have not yet started kindergarten. The collection will run from March 27 through April 10, 2017. There are several location around Centre County where donations will be collected including: State College, Bellefonte, Philipsburg and Penns Valley branches of the YMCA; Centre County Library branches in Bellefotne, Philipsburg, and Centre Hall; Kid to Kid; Schlow Library; The Makery; and Seven Mountains Media Offices.
The donated books will be distributed to Partner Network Agencies who have direct interaction with 0-5 year olds and their parents. Each child will get a free book to take home and read with their parent or caregiver. Agency personnel will follow-up with the caregiver and child during a subsequent meeting and the child will receive another book.
Raising Readers is available to all children in Centre County and is sponsored by Seven Mountains Media.