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Thousands of books donated during Read United Day
Read United Day 2023

Hundreds of United Way volunteers spread out across 950 classrooms in Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties on Friday for Read United Day. On this day, volunteers read and gave books to more than 19,000 Pre-K through 2nd grade students at 60 schools across the four-county region.

Read United Day is part of Read United, which is a year-round series of programs to improve early language and literacy for all children in United Way’s service area including Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty counties.

“Reading is vital to the success of our children and to the success of this region. It surprised me to learn that 61% of low-income families have no books in the home and that is something we can work together as a community to help change,” says Brynn Grant, president and CEO of United Way of the Coastal Empire. “We are grateful for the sponsors, donors, and volunteers who made it possible to give nearly every student in Pre-K through 2nd grade across our region a book of their very own.”

Read United Day originated in Liberty County, and through donor support, has grown to include each of the four counties in United Way’s service area. With the addition of Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools this year, Read United Day nearly tripled in the number of classrooms served and, therefore the number of volunteers and books needed.

“We are sincerely grateful for the nearly 950 volunteers and community leaders who stepped up to read in the classroom this year,” said Cheri Dean, vice president of community impact, United Way of the Coastal Empire. “We knew it was a tall order but our community answered the call! It has been a rewarding experience to see the joy on the faces of the students as the volunteers read to them and gave them books to take home. We plan to do this again every year and look forward to inviting more partners to be a part of it!”

Donations to support Read United can be made at https://uwce.org/readunited/.

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