Kiwanis, United Way join to offer ‘Read 4 Fun’ program

Tribune Chronicle / Bob Coupland

Sharon Drummond, right, with the Warren Junior Women’s League assisted the United Way of Trumbull County recently in distributing bags filled with books, crafts and other items to second-grade students at McGuffey PK-8 School in Warren. Getting their bags are, from left, Caitlyn Hays, 7; Jalaiya Johnson, 7; and Sean Williams, 8.

Tribune Chronicle / Bob Coupland Sharon Drummond, right, with the Warren Junior Women’s League assisted the United Way of Trumbull County recently in distributing bags filled with books, crafts and other items to second-grade students at McGuffey PK-8 School in Warren. Getting their bags are, from left, Caitlyn Hays, 7; Jalaiya Johnson, 7; and Sean Williams, 8.

WARREN — Sharon Drummond of the Warren Junior Women’s League shared the children’s story ”Scaredy the Squirrel,” with second-graders at McGuffey PK-8 School in Warren this week, as each student received a copy of the book made possible by the United Way’s ”Read 4 Fun” program.

Joining Drummond in reading to students at the school were Warren Kiwanis members Jim Ritter of Kent State Trumbull, Kurt Sauer of Warren Engineering, Donnie Fatabene of Talmer Bank and Paulette Edington of Trumbull Family Fitness.

The Kiwanis Club of Warren holds fundraising events so members can assist a variety of organizations that focus on improving the lives of children and their families.

Ginny Pasha, president of the United Way of Trumbull County, said the Kiwanis Club awarded it funding for the Reading Great by 8 Literacy Initiative, developed in 2014 to ensure that every student in Trumbull County has the opportunity to read at grade level by the third grade.

Pasha said the United Way’s initiative includes three specialized programs for students in grades kindergarten through second, with an added emphasis on children from low-income families.

Funding from the Kiwanis also supports the ”Read 4 Fun” program at Lincoln and McGuffey K-8 buildings.

Pasha said that this week, children were read a story from a Kiwanis Club or other community organization member, then received a nylon backpack filled with a book, craft activities, and other educational and learning items.

Cindy Rogers, campaign associate with the United Way, said Kiwanis funding was used to purchase the backpacks and the ”Scaredy the Squirrel” book.

She said students also received in their backpacks three additional books  that were collected during book drives held earlier this year.

In addition to financial support,  Kiwanis Club members gave an hour of their time, during which they read a story, provided a question-and-answer session, worked on a craft that complemented that story and enjoyed a healthy snack time with the students.

“This is a great opportunity for our funders to see firsthand just exactly how this program works and how well the students are responding to it,” Pasha said.

“This is only one of the three programs under our Reading Great by 8 Literacy Initiative, but it’s one of my favorites because it allows the students to develop a fondness for reading by making the process enjoyable,” she said.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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