Eight elementary schools in Branford, Hamden, New Haven, Orange, and West Haven joined United Way of Greater New Haven to celebrate Read Across America 2019 on Wednesday, February 27, Thursday, February 28, Friday, March 1, Monday, March 4, and Wednesday, March 6, 2019. This year United Way recruited more than 150 volunteer readers from the community as United Way celebrated the 5th year of hosting the event locally.

“Read Across America has become a tradition that students and United Way volunteers get excited about each year. In fact, this year at Strong School in New Haven we celebrated with 4th graders who have been joining us for this event since they were in kindergarten,” said United Way of Greater New Haven President and CEO Jennifer Heath.

Each year, Read Across America honors Dr. Seuss’s birthday and the joys of reading. More than 45 million readers throughout the country, both young and old, picked up a book and read aloud to mark the occasion.

“As mayor, one of my goals has been to ensure New Haven works to become ‘the city that reads.’ This United Way initiative is a fun way to advance the city’s effort in that direction and inspire young readers,” said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.

Providing children access to books opens doors and their minds to what’s possible. Research shows that reading aloud is the best way to help children develop word mastery and grammatical understanding. These are the building blocks that help our children learn how to read.

Together with its partners, United Way donated more than 400 books to the classrooms and libraries we visited. Sponsors and partners included Comcast, the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, Ion Bank Foundation, Marcum, Quinnipiac University, Start Community Bank, The Children’s Museum, Tyco Print and Promo, Yale New Haven Health, City of New Haven, Town of Hamden, Town of Branford, City of West Haven, and Town of Orange.

“United Way is a force for good in our community, and we are proud to partner with them on an issue we feel passionately about, reading,” said Michael Holmes, Senior Vice President of Operations at Yale New Haven Hospital.

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