This year, for the fifth year in a row, Immaculate High School students have donated children’s books to United Way of Western Connecticut’s Ready, Set, Let’s Read! program. United Way volunteers distributed 725 books to preschoolers in greater Danbury over the past month.
Ready, Set, Let’s Read! was launched in 2014. It places volunteers in preschool classrooms serving children who are at risk of not being ready for kindergarten. Most volunteers read to the children on a weekly basis and spend 45 to 60 minutes in the classrooms. Volunteer readers do group reading, one-on-one reading, and help with literacy-related activities.
Currently, United Way has 21 community volunteers in five preschools in greater Danbury, serving approximately 620 children between the ages of 3 and 5. Ready, Set, Let’s Read! volunteers are active at Danbury Public Schools’ Cottage Street Early Childhood Center, Head Start, Interfaith Early Learning Center, Little People Learning Center, and the YMCA Children’s Center.
“We are thankful for Immaculate and their dedication to helping our Ready, Set, Let’s Read! program again this year,” said Morgan Greening, special projects coordinator at United Way. “Often, preschoolers from low-income households don’t have many books in their homes. Thanks to this effort, children are taking home new books to read.”
Early literacy programs like Ready, Set, Let’s Read! are important because research shows that children who are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade are more likely to drop out of high school. The program strives to cultivate a love of reading and books even before children start kindergarten, preparing them for reading success once they enter elementary school.
United Way is seeking additional volunteers to help support this program.
For more information on the program or to volunteer, contact Morgan Greening at (203) 297-6736 or
Pictured from left to right: Sally Kile, volunteer coordinator for Ready, Set, Let's Read! at Head Start; Morgan Greening, Special Projects Coordinator at United Way of Western Connecticut; Sandy Rankin, volunteer coordinator of United Way's Ready, Set, Let's Read! program; and Sondra Cherney, Assistant Education Manager at Connecticut Institute for Communities' Early Learning Programs.