Giving Back: The United Way & Day of Action

The Morning Show

Mary Noel Stefan, Associate Director of Community Engagement with United Way, joins the Morning Show to discuss more about their Day of Action.

In Champaign County, United Way is focusing on boosting Kindergarten Readiness in our community. The first five years of a child’s life are critical for social and emotional development, and set the stage for future success. But, across Champaign County, too many kids are not ready for the first day of school – 33% on average. Boosting kindergarten readiness – and working with schools, employers and other nonprofits – is part of United Way’s strategy to help kids succeed in school, work and life.

On June 21, thousands of people in more than 400 communities across the world – including right here in Champaign County! – will be volunteering through United Way to make their community a better place through Day of Action.

United Way Day of Action is a snapshot of what United Way does all year long – galvanizing people around solutions to build stronger communities.

Last year, 75 volunteers helped United Way of Champaign County collect 1,704 preschool books to fill Getting Ready for Kindergarten kits. This year we hope to collect even more through our partnership with Busey Bank.

The first five years of a child’s life are critical for social and emotional development, and set the stage for future success in school and life. But, across Champaign County, too many kids are not ready for the first day of school – 33% on average. It’s a challenge in every school district. It’s so important because we know that long-term, kids who are prepared for kindergarten do better in school and graduate at higher rates than those who are not ready. So while some people may say, “It’s just kindergarten, what’s the big deal?” we say – kindergarten is the key.

There are three big things you can do with your child to help them prepare for kindergarten: reading together, talking together, and playing together. The books we collect during Day of Action go into our Getting Ready for Kindergarten kits, which are filled with tools to help families.

Participate in the book drive! We are accepting new and gently used books. This is a great activity for parents to do with children – go through your bookshelf and find a book that your child has outgrown and is in good shape. Or visit local bookstores and pick up your favorite books from childhood to donate. Get your church, book club or neighborhood together.

Donate a children’s book at Busey Bank in Champaign County on June 21, 7:30am-6pm

Participating Busey branches: Downtown Champaign, Downtown Urbana, Rantoul and Mahomet

Will accept new and gently used preschool books

Uwayhelps.org/DayOfAction

All the books collected during Day of Action will go into a Getting Ready for Kindergarten kit. 

Two books, construction paper, scissors, glue, markers, crayons, United Way’s Kindergarten Calendar, and parent guides with tons of great activity ideas. After the kits are assembled, volunteers will hand them out door-to-door later this summer across Champaign County.

Volunteer Opportunity:

June 21, 2017

7:30am – 6:00pm

Drop off children’s books at select Busey Bank locations in Champaign County.

More Information: CUvolunteer.org

 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.