Make Reading Fun!
United Way of Portage County delivered 700 Literacy Kits to local kindergarten students in May. The kits were based on the book “Are You My Mother” and contained a children’s storybook paired with a hands-on activity created to improve early grade reading, encourage the love of reading and generate long term school success. This is the second year United Way has provided literacy kits to Portage County Kindergarten classes that participate in the Reading Role Model program, a program in which community volunteers read stories to children with the goal of stimulating interest in reading and improve early grade reading outcomes.
United Way of Portage County offers warm thanks to Barb Boltz, Project Director of Student Affairs at Kent State, and all the Kent State University staff and student volunteers who have been donating their time, since January, putting the Literacy Kits together. United Way also thanks the Giving Well Family Foundation for funding this project and to the Reading Role Models who helped with the distribution of the kits by reading the story to the children and completing the activity with the classrooms.
The Literacy Kit program encourages early reading by making the experience fun. In order to ensure the children in the Portage County Head Start program in the fall of 2019 and those Kindergarten classrooms engaged with the Reading Role Models program in the spring of 2020 receive kits, United Way has secured support from the OMNOVA Solutions Foundation, the Kent Rotary Foundation and the Ravenna Kiwanis Club.