Inspiring Early Childhood Reading

United Way of Washington County, MD and Staples Partner to Inspire Early Childhood Reading

HAGERSTOWN, MD (JUNE 9, 2017) – United Way’s Day of Action is on June 14, 2017. This is an annual event that mobilizes the caring power of volunteers to make a meaningful impact in more than 400 communities around the world.  Volunteers of all ages will come together to create positive change for themselves, their families and their communities. Last year, more than 418 United Ways in 21 countries mobilized volunteers in their communities on Day of Action.
While each United Way creates meaningful activities centered on specific challenges, this year’s national focus is on summer learning and nutrition. Summer is a critical time for children’s academic and physical well-being, but in too many communities, kids are falling behind and going hungry during the summer months. Boosting summer learning – and working with schools, summer programs, employers and other nonprofits – is part of United Way’s strategy to help kids succeed in school, work and life. 

Summer Learning Loss

Kids who don’t get academic enrichment during the summer often forget what they learned during the school year, experiencing what’s called the “summer slide.” Children from low-wage families slide a lot further, often starting school with a two-month lag in math and a three-month delay in reading. By middle school, these students have lost two full years of learning according to the National Summer Learning Association. 
United Way of Washington County will create meaningful activities centered on Summer Learning Loss by partnering with Staples Distribution Center in Hagerstown.  Volunteers will create Literacy Kits that include an age-appropriate book and an activity that will inspire the children to engage with the story. The kits will be distributed to local Head Start classrooms.
Individuals can explore local volunteer opportunities by visiting United Way’s Volunteer Connect site at
United Way inspires collaborations to address critical needs in education, income and health.  For more information about United Way please call 301-739-8200 or visit our website at