WHITE PLAINS – The United Way of Westchester and Putnam just completed a four-month book drive which delivered more than 1,000 books bags filled with reading materials to low-income children and families in Westchester and Putnam.
Part of the UWWP’s United2Read program, the book drive began on Martin Luther King Day when more than 100 volunteers including Girl Scouts from Troop 1033 gathered to build reading kits for low-income children. The reading kits included three books and activities and a bilingual learning tool that was designed by UWWP staff to inspire parents and children to interact in educational play.
“A child’s ability to read is a strong indicator for later success in school and in life,” said Alana Sweeny, President and CEO of United Way Westchester and Putnam. “ By promoting early reading, the United2Read program fights poverty through literacy.”
Only 38 percent of children in Westchester and Putnam are reading on grade level by the end of 3rd grade.
Books were delivered to pre-schools, daycare and community centers and other non-profit agencies in Yonkers, New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, White Plains, Valhalla, Ossining, Brewster and Carmel. In addition to Sweeny, George Troyano, Publisher of the Journal News and Lohud.com; Fed Ex Regional Manager Rod Shnier and Ossining Schools Superintendent Raymond Sanchez helped deliver the books and met with parents and children.
Local centers where books were delivered:
Infant-Toddler Learning Center,489 South Broadway, Yonkers
Children’s Center for Learning, 95 Lincoln Ave. New Rochelle
Careers for People w/ Disabilities, 401 Columbus Ave. Valhalla
First Steps Program, St. Ann’s Church,25 Eastern Av. Ossining
West. Institute for Human Development, Valhalla
Putnam CAP, 121 Main St. Brewster
Coachman Family Center, 123 East Post Road, White Plains
Putnam Family & Community Services, 808 Route 6, Carmel
Ossining CAP, 50N. Malcom St. Ossining
Mt. Vernon CAG, 250 South 6th Av.Mt. Vernon
Mt. Vernon Day Care, 151 South 2nd Av. Mt. Vernon
WIC Prog, 9 Glober Johnson, New Rochelle
5 Steps to 5, White Plains Youth Bureau