(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."

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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.

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!

Don't wait another day. Call 2-1-1 to connect with information on counseling programs and support groups to help you reestablish safety and independence.

This free, easy-to-use tool connects your time and talent with volunteer opportunities from local nonprofit organizations. Search by interests and time availability.

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