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(Rockford, Ill. - 01/22/2014) – This month, over 3,800 pre-k students received Bear Wants More as part of January's book title for Success By 6® Page Turner Reading Program. The book, sponsored by Rasmussen College, is part of United Way's school readiness initiative that helps children birth to age 6 learn, grow, and enter kindergarten ready to succeed.

In this New York Times Bestseller written by Karma Wilson, Bear finds some roots to eat, but that's not enough. He wants more! How Bear's friends help him to finally satisfy his huge hunger in a most surprising way will enchant young readers. The book is known for its rhythmic text and vibrant illustrations.

Each month during the school year, pre-k children receive their very own age-appropriate book selected by early childhood specialists. Children begin to build their personal libraries and parents receive tips on ways to engage their young child in learning at home. Teachers also incorporate activities developed around each book title into their classroom curriculum. Books and materials are provided for English- and Spanish-speaking families.

The Page Turner Reading Program, in partnership with City of Rockford Head Start, The Diocese of Rockford, Harlem School District #122, Kreative K, Montessori and Rockford Public Schools District #205, assists pre-school teachers in developing pre-literacy skills essential for kindergarten readiness. Since the majority of brain development occurs between birth and age five, quality early learning and care programs have a profound impact on lifelong success and support cognitive, social and emotional development.

Rasmussen College joins a growing number of community sponsors supporting United Way's school readiness initiative such as Rockford United Labor and school sponsors Alpine Bank, John Morrissey Accountants, Inc., Northwestern Illinois Building & Construction Trades Council, Savant Capital Management and UTC Aerospace Systems.

For more information on United Way's Success By 6® Page Turner Reading Program or its work in school readiness, contact Linda Sandquist by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 815-968-5400.

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For thousands of area youth, middle school is the defining moment in their lives. See how United Way and its partners are creating a movement to help middle school students achieve success. Visit www.movethemiddlenow.org.

Celebrate generosity worldwide by joining us for #GivingTuesday. It's a day for ordinary people to come together to do extraordinary things in our region.

Parents or guardians of children ages birth to five who are residents of Meridian CUSD #223 can register for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library today!

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