Let’s Make Love of Reading Contagious
Written by Valley of the Sun United Way
Published on Nov 19, 2013
I have a challenge for you this holiday season. It involves stories, and bright smiling faces.
Join me for the Million Minutes Volunteer Reading Challenge. The goal is as exciting as it is bold: to collectively read one million minutes to local children by May 2014. Reading is the foundation for a child’s success in school and life and is more important than ever.
Children who are read to at least three times weekly are nearly twice as likely to score in the top 25 percentile in reading.
Data shows only 25 percent of Arizona fourth-graders read proficiently.
Starting this school year, third-graders who are reading far below grade level will not be allowed to move on to fourth grade.
Together we can spread a love of reading. It’s easy and we provide you tools and support to get started:
First, join the Million Minutes Volunteer Reading Challenge team, or start a new team with your coworkers, friends or family, at vsuw.org/millionminutes.
This is where the fun begins: Choose where you want to read, and what you want to read. United Way provides a list of locations and book suggestions. Or, like me, you can read at your own children’s school, or at libraries and child care centers anywhere in the Valley.
Download our volunteer reader tips for simple ideas to make the story leap from the pages and leave children asking for more. My favorite method is to ask the children to tell me their favorite part of the story. Sound effects and coming up with an alternative ending also helps children embrace storytelling.
As a Million Minutes volunteer reader and member of Valley of the Sun United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, I don’t just read to children – I make books come to life. I watch as their eyes light up with what I can only describe as a newfound love for reading. I watch as their futures brighten right before my eyes.
What could be a more rewarding and fun way to spend your holiday season?
Tammy Weinbaum is Senior Vice President and General Manager for American Express, and co-chair of Valley of the Sun United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council. She oversees customer care centers in Arizona, Utah and Canada. Tammy is mom to three children who all love different kinds of books.