Utah County Read-Along challenges community to read aloud for book donations

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United Way of Utah County is challenging the community to read for the Utah County Read-Along. Pioneer Book will donate one book to House of Hope’s Books for Bonding program for each hour that the community reads.

The read-along event is happening June 20–21, which just so happens to be the longest days of the year, providing plenty of time to squeeze in a little reading before bed.

Participants just need to read aloud to someone — whether that is a parent, child or friend — and record their time and experience on United Way’s website. They can read for as long as they want, wherever they want, just as long as they are reading.

United Way of Utah County is working with EveryDay Learners’ to reach a goal of 250 hours read in the community. Besides being able to help Pioneer Book donate, participants will also be entered in a drawing for prizes, including books and passes to local events like museums and sporting events.

How to donate books

  • Record the time you spend reading aloud at everydaylearners.org
  • Take a reading selfie and use the hashtag #UtahCountyReads
  • Spread the word on social media

Anyone supporting the read-along event can spread the word through social media. Posts should include #UtahCountyReads. Reading selfies also get participants an extra entry into the prize drawing, but that is not the best part. Every reading selfie posted and recorded in the log will result in an additional book donated.

Claire Warnick, the volunteer center manager for United Way of Utah County, said this program started when they found third grade reading levels dropping. She said studies show those below reading level in third grade are more likely to drop out of high school. The program was developed to get parents and children involved to increase reading level.

Today, the number changed from 2 out of 5 third graders below reading level to only 1 out of 5 third graders below reading level. Warnick said she loves this program and the benefits that come from it.

“We really love doing this program,” Warnick said. “It is a chance for parents and neighbors to get involved, and it is great to help books become available to those in our community who need them.”

The Utah County Read-Along is in conjunction with United Way’s National Day of Action. United Way of Utah County is working to improve the importance of literacy on this day each year. Recording for the read-along will close on June 22 at 9 a.m. Record your reading here.

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