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United Way of San Diego County Calls for 400 Volunteers to Read and Interact with Students this Summer

San Diego County CA— Four weeks. Four sites. Four hundred students. Yes, United Way of San Diego County is going to need some help.

In the second year of the Readers in the Heights” initiative, helping students prevent summer slide and be active learners all summer long, United Way has expanded it from 40 students to 400 – 10 times its size from the inaugural year. Running from Monday, July 24 to Friday, Aug. 18, United Way’s Readers in the Heights is putting out a call for 400-plus volunteers to help, encouraging individuals, groups and businesses to spend a few hours volunteering their time.

“Last summer, Readers in the Heights proved that with great programming and fantastic volunteers we can help our earliest learners achieve success even when school isn’t in session,” said President and CEO Laurie Coskey, Ed.D. “This year, with our rapid program expansion, we need the help of more than 400 volunteers to help young minds enhance their reading skills, build confidence and develop a love of reading!”

Working with students from kindergarten through fourth grade, volunteers can read with the children, or lead science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), art or music activities during the day of their choice. Readers in the Heights needs volunteers in four-hour shifts from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at four locations in City Heights: Cherokee Point Elementary, City Heights Community Development Corporation, Copley Price YMCA and Hamilton Elementary.

United Way of San Diego County works every day to change the odds for children and help them succeed. The organization focuses on readiness for kindergarten; early grade literacy, including Readers in the Heights; and college and career readiness, with a foundation of family stability (support outside of school, so children can be successful inside the classroom).

In the summer of 2016, Readers in the Heights provided 40 students with 2,560 hours of learning, including 400 hours of reading with adults. The children also received more than 10 books each, school supplies, new library cards, and daily lunches and snacks. The goal is to expand the initiative further each year, countywide.

To learn more and sign up, visit: https://volunteer.uwsd.org/calendar. Volunteers must be 16 years or older and may need a basic screening for working with school children.

For questions regarding volunteering, please contact Volunteer Engagement Manager Adina Veen at adina.veen@uwsd.org or 858-636-4163.