United Way of Broward County

United Way of Broward County Announces Early Literacy Initiative

Natalie Horowitz
June 19, 2012


United Way of Broward County announced today the launch of ReadingPals, a literacy program for elementary school children.  ReadingPals connects Pre-K through third grade children and volunteers to assist with improving reading skills. This program is just another way United Way is helping children achieve their full potential through education. 

“This is such a crucial age for children to develop and enhance strong literacy skills so they are prepared for middle and high school,” said Kathleen Cannon, CEO of the United Way of Broward County.  “We are turning outward toward the community, asking 300 dedicated volunteers for their time and support to help our children succeed in school.”

"We so strongly believe that the future of our state rests in the hands and minds of our youngest that we have personally contributed to the launching of "ReadingPals" -- an early literacy initiative in ten Florida regions. Our goal is to ensure that more children are reading at grade level by the end of third grade," said Carol Barnett, Chairman and CEO - Publix Super Markets Charities, Inc.

United Way has teamed up with The Children’s Movement of Florida, Carol and Barney Barnett, the Children’s Services Council of Broward County, as well as the Broward County Public Schools to create this program.  The program is also made possible through a generous grant from Publix Super Markets Charities, Inc.

Pompano Beach Elementary School and Endeavor Elementary School will serve as the pilot schools for ReadingPals.  United Way’s Florida Women’s Leadership Council proposed the program to combat the underachieving students who are unable to move forward with their education due to poor test scores.  The goal of the program is to dramatically improve reading skills which will translate to better understanding and better scores. 

For more information on ReadingPals or to sign up to become a volunteer, please contact Lola Jordan at (954) 462-4850 ext. 143 or ljordan@unitedwaybroward.org.

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