Hello Ocean

Ronald Welte, a delegate of Rockford United Labor, helps introduce April's School Readiness book to pre-k students at Summerdale Early Childhood Center.

(Rockford, Ill. - 04/27/2015) – This month, over 4,000 pre-k students received Hello Ocean/Hola Mar as part of April's book title for Success By 6® Page Turner Reading Program. The book is part of United Way's school readiness focus that helps children birth to age 6 learn, grow, and enter kindergarten ready to succeed.

Sparkling, evocative illustrations and joyful text describe a young girl's journey of discovery as she uncovers the secrets of the sea using each of her five senses. In Hello Ocean/Hola Mar author Pam Muñoz Ryan and illustrator Mark Astrella use great imagery to emphasize the differences between the five senses and incorporate literary elements such as alliteration, metaphors, and rhyme and rhythm.

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 activities on each book to engage their young child in learning at home. Teachers also incorporate curriculum developed around each book title into their classroom. 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.

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.


Additional Resources:

English Parent Piece

Spanish Parent Piece


United Way of Rock River Valley

United Way of Rock River Valley advances the common good in Winnebago and Ogle counties, creating opportunities for a better life by focusing on education, income, and health. United Way recruits people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change.