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United Way Seeks Volunteers for Early Reader Program


BRADENTON – Want to make a difference? Help a child learn to read and join the United Way of Manatee County in its second year of ReadingPals, a program funded by Carol and Barney Barnett of the Barnett Early Literacy Initiative. The goal is to enlist 200 community volunteers and the success of ReadingPals hinges upon the generosity of our local volunteers. An hour a week can add up to a lifetime of success.

“With only sixty minutes a week as a ReadingPal volunteer, each of us can help transform the lives of our community’s children through a mentor/teacher relationship that can be life altering by increasing the probability of success in school which augers so well for success in life," said Philip Brown, President of United Way of Manatee County. "Join me in being a ReadingPal this year at one of five Manatee County kindergarten classes. Do you remember some of those adults that had a major impact on your life as a child just because they cared about you so authentically?  Become one of those adults to our children as a ReadingPal.”

United Way and its Women’s Leadership Initiative have partnered with the School District of Manatee County and the Children’s Movement to bring ReadingPals to our community for a second year. ReadingPals is a highly interactive program designed to achieve real outcomes for children.  This program will take place from September – May and is a one-on-one, guided reading program for kindergarteners housed in 4 of Manatee County’s Title I elementary schools.

Site locations and times are:

  • Ballard Elementary School, 912 18th Street W., Bradenton

Hours: Tuesdays or Thursdays, 1:30-2:30 PM

  • Blackburn Elementary School, 3904 17th Street E., Palmetto

Hours: Tuesdays, 9:20-10:20 AM

  • Daughtrey Elementary School, 515 63rd Ave. E., Bradenton

Hours: Tuesdays or Thursdays, 8:15-9:15 AM * (Awaiting approval of hours)

  • Rogers Garden Elementary School, 515 13th Ave., W., Bradenton

Hours: Tuesdays, 8:30-9:30 AM

During this 25-week program, each volunteer will be matched with 2 students. Volunteers will divide their hour-long session between each student (30 minutes apiece) to give each child one-on-one attention. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or would like additional information, please contact Sandra Holmes at 941-748-1313 or via e-mail at sholmes@uwmc.net.


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