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When we LIVE UNITED, we make an impact.
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Youth Literacy Grant Improves Opportunities for Reading Clubs

This month, United Way of Delaware County was selected as the only organization in this area to be awarded a Youth Literacy Grant. The Dollar General Literacy Foundation awarded UWDC $3,750 to help support reading club programs.
 
This grant will provide critical funding to pilot the second grade reading club at South View Elementary School. As a result, United Way is able to purchase at least 24 sets of second grade books. In addition, the purchase of at least 22 sets of third grade books will allow the Reading Club library to expand to meet the needs of these improving readers. Remaining funds from the grant will be dedicated to providing supplies for all reading clubs throughout the Delaware County community.
 
Because of the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities, the second grade reading club is possible. John Marsh, the Indiana Academy faculty who coordinates the reading club volunteers, is excited about the 34 Indiana Academy students serving, as well as the opportunities made possible by the grant.
 
"We started last March with 13 volunteers," explains Marsh. "It proved to be an amazing, positive experience for all concerned. The third graders loved it, and their reading scores took a huge jump."
 
The students at Indiana Academy piloted the third grade reading club at South View Elementary School last year, which—in just two short months—resulted in children advancing their reading level by an average of nine months! Because this program proved to be such a success for third graders, United Way is reaching out to second graders to ensure that earlier grades are also getting the support they need to be on the path to reading proficiency.

"Our volunteers love the fact that this is a program with the power to truly change the trajectory of the lives of these at-risk students," says Marsh. "They know that the power of this program is even greater than the crucial reading assistance. You really get a sense of the mutual connection that has developed when you see how enthusiastically these high schoolers and grade schoolers greet each other each week."

This program addition, combined with United Way’s early literacy work with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and partnership with BY5, results in a comprehensive strategy to help students achieve success in school and in life.
 
United Way would like to express a huge thank-you to Ball State University, which buses the Indiana Academy volunteers to and from reading club each week. Ball State professors of early literacy have even provided skill-building training to better equip volunteers for reading interventions. Dedicated volunteers and partnering organizations like these make long-term change possible!

Give a Little. Transform a Life.

We all have so much to be thankful for this holiday season. As we join our families in celebration over the next several weeks, it is important to remember those who need our help.
 
This month, United Way of Delaware County is participating in Giving Tuesday! MutualBank Charitable Foundation has generously offered to match up to $5,000 of donations throughout the month of November. This is your chance to give children in our community something to celebrate: an education that paves their way to a bright future.
 
Many children don’t have access to the materials they need to improve their reading proficiency. You can make that difference—not only this holiday season—but for the rest of their lives.
 
Your gift can be the reason a child in Delaware County is a successful student and becomes an impactful member of our community. Help us reach our goal of $5,000, and follow this literacy movement on UWDC social media using the hashtag #GivingTuesday.
DONATE FOR GIVING TUESDAY
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