Every book helps give a child a brighter future.
For an underprivileged child under 5, receiving 12 brand-new, free books a year through the United Way of Tri-County's Ready to Read program is key preparation for Kindergarten, and throwing a big summertime party with bubbles, balloon animals, food and face-painting is how we celebrate with the children and their families!
Literacy plays a crucial role in closing achievement and income gaps, as research indicates students who aren't proficient readers by third grade are more likely to drop out of school. Ready to Read works against that trend, helping kids foster a love of learning and lifelong literacy development by reading during the key brain-building years from birth to age 5.
At our latest Ready to Read event in Milford, we handed out over 312 books to the babies, toddlers and preschoolers already enrolled in our early literacy initiative and registered another 17 kids into the program. Each child received a personalized tote bag—colorfully decorated by volunteers—full of a dozen age-appropriate books to add to their home library. We’re very grateful to Nitto Avecia, a biotech company in Milford, for sponsoring our June event, and to their employees, Debra and Edie, who graciously volunteered to hand out pizza and help with festivities at the Milford Housing Authority's playground on Luby Avenue.
In 2022, we enrolled 64 new kids from Framingham, Marlborough and Milford into the Ready to Read program and they received a total of 769 new books. We also gave literacy kits (kits containing a book and fun craft/activity) to another 621 kids from 10 cities and towns across MetroWest and the 495 Corridor.
This summer, we're looking for both children-in-need and donations to grow the Ready to Read program. A $25 donation will buy 12 books for a child from an economically disadvantaged family and can be made easily at: uwotc.org/ReadytoRead. We would also love donations of brand-new, pre-K-level books for both boys and girls. If you are aware of any economically disadvantaged child(ren) that would benefit from receiving free books, please reach out to Ready to Read.