What if a dinosaur catches the flu?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Volunteers 2016

Volunteers help to promote literacy on Make a Difference Day. Photo credit: Joseph Quinnell

Contributor: Susan Perri, Marketing and Communications Specialist at United Way Fox Cities

Kindergartners in 11 Appleton area schools will soon be able to answer the question, “What if a dinosaur catches the flu?” Thanks to grant funding from Depend (a brand of Kimberly-Clark) and the help of 60 community volunteers, books like How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague were sent home with nearly 600 children this week. (View photos of kindergartners receiving their packs.)

United Way Fox Cities wants to ensure that every child has access to books at home. Why is this important? “Even a child who hails from a home with 25 books will, on average, complete two more years of school than would a child from a home without any books at all.”*

Wow, right?

We’ve worked to boost home libraries and encourage literacy in numerous ways. Packing literacy kits for local school children is one of our efforts. For the past three years, United Way Fox Cities has been the recipient of grant money provided by Depend to expand volunteer activities and outreach. Depend and United Way are coming together to promote healthy, active, and independent living throughout an individual’s life, with a focus on volunteering. As a result of this partnership, we’ve been able to provide books for more than 2,200 children throughout the Fox Cities and engage more than 230 community volunteers in promoting early childhood literacy.

This year, on Make a Difference Day, the largest national day of community service, volunteers spent their morning with United Way Fox Cities to pack literacy kits with new Scholastic books, custom-made bookmarks, and information for caregivers regarding the importance of reading to their children. Talk about making a difference in our community! (View photos of the volunteer event.)

Thank you to the volunteers for lending their time and talents, and to Depend and United Way Worldwide for making this project possible!

*Source: Evans, M., Kelley, J., Sikorac, J., & Treimand, D. (2010). “Family scholarly culture and educational success: Books and schooling in 27 nations.” Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 28, 171–197.