United Way, Barnes & Noble partner to launch Holiday Book Drive

Dec 18, 2013
Courtesy of: Katrina Ondracek / United Way of Snohomish County Sara Haner of United Way of Snohomish County reads “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” to children at the Barnes and Noble in Lynnwood.

United Way and Barnes & Noble are teaming up to provide age-appropriate books to children throughout Snohomish County this holiday season.

Books will be distributed to local food banks and to classroom libraries to support children and youth who are struggling to read at grade-level.

According to a study commissioned by Reading is Fundamental in 2010, access to books improves children’s reading performance, helps children learn the basics of reading, causes them to read more for longer stretches of time, and improves attitudes toward reading and learning.

Barnes and Noble at the Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood kicked off this year’s book drive before Thanksgiving; the bookseller is counting on United Way of Snohomish County to distribute the books throughout the county.

“We’re proud to be working with United Way because they understand our community’s needs, and we are confident that they will get the books to the kids who need them the most,” said Carol Hartman Davis, community relations manager at Barnes & Noble.

United Way worked with staff members from Barnes & Noble and librarians from Sno-Isle Libraries to select books, which include “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” for younger children and “A Daredevil's Guide to Swimming with Sharks” for older kids.

“Until third grade, children are learning to read,” said Lynn Lewis, who manages United Way’s Education Initiative. “After third grade, they’re reading to learn.”

Tips to encourage good reading habits

Until third grade, read and share books with your child so they’ll want to read on their own. Share stories that you love, read for 20 minutes every day, talk about illustrations, ask children to turn the pages and underline phrases with your finger as you read.

After third grade, encourage your child to read what they want outside of school so they will better understand what they read in school. Connect with your local library, use technology to build interest in reading, start a family book club and promote summer reading.

United Way of Snohomish County collaborates with school districts to mobilize volunteers and resources in the community to support student success.

The organization focuses on two developmental stages in a child’s life – birth through third grade and middle school years – by concentrating on four key areas: literacy, social emotional development, parent engagement and community support.

United Way is a community impact organization serving Snohomish County for more than 70 years.

In addition to funding 107 programs through 40 agencies with a special focus on local health and human services, United Way of Snohomish County supports a number of initiatives focusing on early learning and education, financial stability for families, a youth program, North Sound 211 and an emerging initiative in survival English.

To find out more about United Way of Snohomish County, including how you can find help, how to volunteer and how United Way serves our community, visit the website at uwsc.org.

-Edited by Beacon staff


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