Instill A Love of Reading This Summer

June 09, 2020 | United Way Team

Learn how you can read with United Way and Scholastic from now until September!

As Eastern Iowa moves into the summer months, communities are continuing to adjust to a new reality. Area schools have been closed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and many summer activities, sports, and pools have postponed or cancelled their events. Now more than ever, it’s critical to keep kids engaged in reading to ensure their success back at school in the fall. United Way of East Central Iowa (UWECI) is here to help make this goal a reality for area kids and their families.

This Saturday, June 13, UWECI is hosting a series of book drives to benefit area students and avoid “summer slide”: the decrease in learning that happens when school is not in session. Each drive will be held from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. in Benton, Jones and Linn Counties. Community members can bring new or gently loved books to the following locations:

UWECI is also hosting a Virtual Book Fair until Friday, September 4. There are virtual book fairs: one by UWECI and one in Jones County. The Jones County fair is hosted by the Jones County Community Partnerships for Protecting Children, Early Childhood Iowa, the Jones County Volunteer Center, and Jones County Extension.

The fairs, which are hosted online, can be accessed from anywhere and has numerous books, boxed sets, and bundles for a wide range of grades and ages. Each fair has the same premise: order books from the book fair and have them shipped directly to your home for your children to enjoy throughout the summer! Participating in the book fair will help support area schools.

Reading throughout the summer can help students keep their skills sharp so they don’t lose them between grade levels. Knowing that students can lose as much as 2.5 months of learning during the typical summer months, the extended time students have been out of school means this summer will be more challenging than ever. Learning to read and advancing reading levels is proven and tied to future graduation and life success.