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SAVANNAH, GA (December 2, 2020) – In partnership with Vaden Nissan Hinesville, United Way of the Coastal Empire kicked-off the Read United program to promote early childhood literacy and celebrate the joy of reading. Joined by countless volunteers, yesterday, United Way and Vaden distributed more than 7,500 books to students, ranging from Pre-K to 1st grade, in Bryan, Effingham, and Liberty counties.

“One of the most powerful things any adult can do to improve the lives of children is to help them learn and love to read. It is a proven fact, statistically, that reading proficiency and literacy can improve lives,” said Brynn Grant, President and CEO of United Way of the Coastal Empire. “In the state of Georgia, 66 percent of children are reading below grade level. Consequently, they are likely to experience health and behavioral problems, teen pregnancy, and premature departures from school. We hope that our efforts today will help provide a brighter future for our children.”

Originally, the Read United program was called Read Across Liberty, servicing students only within Liberty County and Fort Stewart for the past 15 years. Because of the generosity of presenting sponsor, Vaden Nissan Hinesville, and an increase in funding from an anonymous donor and the Landings support of our military children, United Way is able to expand the program and serve more students in 24 schools in Bryan, Effingham, and Liberty counties.

“We are grateful for the partnership with the local volunteers, schools, and Vaden Nissan Hinesville, who generously purchased the books, that made today’s event possible,” Grant added. “Although we could not visit all classrooms in the same way this year, we wanted to continue to emphasize the importance of reading and the impact it has on students’ future success in school and life. We also wanted to provide a positive, safe, and fun event for students and teachers.”

Helping every child succeed in school is critical to United Way’s mission. This year, the United Way Community Fund invested nearly $1.1 million in programs and services that strengthen literacy, help children stay on track in school, and graduate high school.

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