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LIBERTY COUNTY, GA (January 26, 2024) – United Way volunteers spread out across classrooms in Bryan, Effingham, and Liberty counties on January 26, 2024, for the first part of Read United Day. The effort will continue in Chatham County when the second part of Read United Day takes place on February 2.

On Read United Day, United Way volunteers and community leaders read and give books to thousands of Pre-K through 2nd-grade students. Throughout this two-day initiative, nearly 1,000 volunteers will read to roughly 1,000 classrooms in 60 schools across our four-county region, giving almost 20,000 new books to local students.

Read United Day is part of Read United, which is a year-round series of programs to improve early language and literacy for all children in United Way’s service area.

“Reading is vital to the success of our children and the future of our entire region,” says Brynn Grant, president and CEO of United Way of the Coastal Empire. “61% of low-income families do not have any books in their homes, and through this initiative, we can help change that. We are grateful for the sponsors, donors, and volunteers who made it possible to give nearly every student in Pre-K through 2nd grade across our region a book of their very own.”

Read United Day originated in Liberty County and through donor support, has grown to include each of the four counties in United Way’s service area. With the addition of Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools this past year, Read United Day nearly tripled the number of classrooms served and, therefore, the number of volunteers and books needed.

“We are sincerely grateful for the nearly 1,000 volunteers and community leaders who stepped up to read in the classroom this year,” said Cheri Dean, vice president of direct services and impact at United Way of the Coastal Empire. “It has been rewarding to see the joy on the faces of the students as the volunteers read to them and gave them books to take home. This year was a big undertaking, and we are grateful for our many partners who helped make this year’s Read United Day possible.”

This year’s Read United Day sponsors include Vystar Credit Union, Gateway Terminals, WTOC, and many other community partners.

Read United Day Facts (January 26 & February 2 combined)

  • 60 schools (across Bryan, Chatham, Effingham, and Liberty Counties)
  • Nearly 1,000 classrooms & volunteers (volunteers read to students in classrooms)
  • Almost 20,000 books to students and classrooms
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