United Way’s Reading Together Program


Photo Credit: The Tennessean

Okay. This weekend I came across something that I think is great and I immediately knew I had to write a post about it. If you live under a rock, United Way is non-profit organization that raises money for all kinds of programs from helping women escape abusive relationships to providing care for the elderly. They do something for everyone.

The program I’d like to tell you all about is called Reading Together. I’m not sure if it’s currently in every part of the country or not, but we’ll get to that in a second. Reading Together was started after a series of surveys conducted by United Way found that half of 4th graders in Texas are not as proficient in reading as they should be. So Reading Together is the result of those studies.

What is it? The program matches an adult volunteer with an elementary student for an entire school semester. The volunteer reader and the student will then spend an hour each week reading together. So easy and yet so important.

This came to my attention during a work meeting in which a United Way representative spoke to a number of our employees and said that her experience as a volunteer in the Reading Together program was something she’ll never forget, and I believe it.

See, I know a lot of people on here don’t like how I write my posts and I bet even more people don’t like how I interact with other bloggers. I’m perfectly fine with that, but this is important and it’s easy. Who cares what you think of me? If the numbers she gave are true about kids in Texas, then I’d be willing to bet that most states face similar struggles in getting students reading at the appropriate level. If you read my blog, then you likely love books and everything that has to do with them at least as much as I do. Show it. An hour a week for a single school semester is nothing. And there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll cherish the experience.

I’m not sure if Reading Together is operating in all parts of the country. I tried to find information on the website about it, but it just asks you to donate rather than volunteer. If you’re unable to volunteer a single hour each week to help a young student get reading, then this is one of those programs that you may consider donating to. Here is theΒ link to the United Way volunteer page, perhaps you can donate your time to one of their many programs.

33 thoughts on “United Way’s Reading Together Program

  1. The inability to read at an adequate level has been a problem for our educational system for many years. Any attempt to encourage children and teenagers to read is worthwhile for the good of this nation. We need to write stories for them, too. I don’t mean “run, spot, run.” I’m talking about easy-to-read stories with characters and plots that interest them. Think about it. You can do it, I bet.


  2. Ah I’m in the UK… but it’s a grave problem here too. We already have a volunteering system put in our school. Volunteers come in from corporate workplaces in their suits and ties, and they read for an hour with the kids. It’s amazing. I once tried it out with a kid, and even years later he’s a lot more confident in himself and more confident OF himself and I believe it’s because of the program we have. And considering that our school has many children who come to England speaking little to no English and a 98% success rate in English I’ve got to say that it must be working.


  3. What a great program! I’ll have to see if the mitten state has something like that. I love reading with kids! It was one of my favorite parts of babysitting. I’m glad you heard about this and shared it!


  4. The United Way program sounds great. If for some reason the program is not in your area, those interested could still help a child with their reading. Many schools welcome volunteers who work with struggling readers. You could always phone a local school and ask for more information.


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