Newsroom Update

‘We Need 1,000:’ United Way Holding Literacy Kit Drive to Support Area Students

RICHMOND, Va. (Dec. 7, 2020)United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg is organizing its annual Literacy Kit Drive and is asking the community to get involved in the creation of the kits, which will be distributed to local students for the upcoming school year. Over the course of the campaign – spanning now until April 2021 – United Way will collect and assemble more than 1,000 literacy kits.

The kits support early childhood literacy and include school supplies (such as pencils, glue sticks, crayons, notebooks etc.), an age-appropriate book and information for parents. At the culmination of the project in April 2021, United Way will work with school partners to safely distribute the kits to students.

United Way has an online toolkit of resources to help people host their own literacy kit drive. The toolkit includes specific information on decorating literacy kits, which is an excellent way to get young children involved in helping their community.

“Data shows that a strong literacy foundation and early learning are essential to ensuring children are ready for kindergarten and reading at a grade-level by third grade,” said James Taylor, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. “The act of giving school supplies is a simple, yet meaningful way to get involved and represents a big investment in our communities. These kits help ensure students are prepared and ready to succeed in school, and with many of the traditional volunteer opportunities limited this year, our hope is that individuals and families will get involved this holiday season.”

Literacy kits complement United Way’s Steps to Success, United Way’s strategic framework aimed at empowering individuals and driving comprehensive, systems-wide change. Steps to Success focuses on nine pillars that help people overcome barriers to prosperity and provides the greater community an opportunity to contribute to specific areas of impact. United Way’s literacy kit campaign addresses two of the pillars: Prepared for Kindergarten and Grade-Level Reading by 3rd Grade.