(Rockford, Ill. - 04/23/2014) – Over 80 volunteer reading mentors shared best practices about their involvement with United Way's I READ program over lunch today. The I READ volunteers told success stories about working with their students and offered suggestions on recruiting new I READ volunteers. Each volunteer also received books to give to their students to read over the summer. In total, over 1,000 books were given away.

United Way's I READ is an early-grade reading program that matches volunteer reading mentors with kindergarten students. For only 20 minutes each week, volunteers help their students reach reading proficiency levels by 4th grade. It's a rewarding experience. As one volunteer put it: "I READ is one of the most important things in my life today."