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United Way, Citi combine for Day of Action effort

July 21, 2013

United Way of Washington County and Citi partnered for a second year to provide books and related activities to 530 area youths in support of United Way’s Day of Action and Summer Learning Day and Citi’s Global Community Day on June 21. 

Day of Action was started four years ago by United Way Worldwide as a time for people to come together and take action to work on their community’s pressing issues.  June 21 was also designated as Summer Learning Day to raise awareness about the importance of learning while school is out for the summer. 

Summer learning loss refers to the decline in children’s reading development that can occur during summer vacation. The access to reading materials is a vital element in enhancing reading development of children and lessening summer learning loss. 

As part of their company’s Global Community Day, Citi employees packed 530 literacy kits that were delivered to Washington County summer programs at Girls Inc., Boys & Girls Club, YMCA and Head Start on June 21. 

Maureen Grove, executive director for Girls Inc., said, “Providing engaging books makes the stories come alive for the girls who then imaginatively participate in the characters’ adventures.  The positive experiences provide the foundation for a lifelong love of reading.” 

The Literacy Kits are age-appropriate. Washington County Library and Girls Inc. of Washington County provided the suggested reading lists.  Summer readers will enjoy reading experiences such as, “The Soccer Shoe Clue,” by Nancy Drew; “Higher Higher,” by Leslie Petricelli; and “Because of Winn-Dixie,” by Kate Camillo.

In addition to the books, the kits include several objects, games or other activities designed to make reading fun and interactive. Related activities include creating their own personal mottoes, flying Frisbees and practicing soccer skills with hacky sacks.

The literacy kits help childcare workers to encourage the development of the child’s language, literacy skills and/or creative thinking.

United Way is at 33 W. Franklin St., Suite 203 in Hagerstown. For more information, call 301-739-8200 or go to www.unitedwaywashcounty.org.

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