From afterschool programs to health clinics to homeless shelters, the 3,500 books you donated on Friday, June 26 during Day of Action have helped support local children’s programs and filled the bookshelves in hundreds of homes across our community.
Two-thirds of America’s children living in poverty have no books at home. However, your donations have given children in Champaign County the resources and the opportunity to overcome struggles with reading comprehension, fight back against summer learning loss (a cumulative effect where disadvantaged students risk losing one to three months of learning during the summers and falling further behind), and become enthusiastic, lifelong readers.
Studies show that children who are able to choose their own books are highly motivated. Free, voluntary reading not only promotes reading skills—these students are also better at spelling and writing, and can flex a larger vocabulary. Struggling readers also experience social benefits when they can choose materials related to movies and books that are popular among their peers. Choice is a major part in helping students find a love for reading, which can translate into a love for learning.
Passing well-loved books along via donation is one of the best ways to introduce a child to titles and subjects they may also take interest in. If a used book can inspire curiosity and encourage exploration, then Day of Action was a success. United Way wants to thank our nonprofit partners for their ability to reach out to the community—their work enables us to make summer a season of learning!