United Way of LaPorte County is asking companies, businesses, service groups and individual volunteers in La Porte County to donate new or gently used books for children attending 10 Kindergarten Countdown camps this summer. Six of these camps will begin June 23 in Michigan City Area Schools for more than 120 children.
“We are in desperate need of kindergarten age-appropriate books to give to more than 200 children who will be attending kindergarten readiness camps in La Porte County throughout the summer,” said Kris Pate, United Way executive director. “Each child is given a book to take home each day of the camp. This is a great way to get the whole family involved in the learning experience.”
The four-week, half-day summer camps focus on essential academic and socialization skills and are taught by experienced kindergarten teachers. Students receive breakfast and lunch while attending the program.
United Way donor contributions, IU Health and a grant from the Indiana Association of United Ways help fund the camps for pre-k students, many of whom come from families living at or below the poverty level. These students have not benefitted from a pre-school experience and may be behind in their learning skills and socialization experiences. Pre- and post-tests of Kindergarten Countdown students consistently show significant increases in literacy skills as well as higher levels of confidence and enthusiasm about school.
IU Health annually contributes funding, books and volunteer support for Kindergarten Camps. This year for the first time, the UPS Women’s Leadership Division is conducting a major book drive to support the camps.
Anyone interested in helping collect 2,000 new or gently used kindergarten-level books for campers can drop them at the United Way of LaPorte County office, 115 E. 4th Street across from the Michigan City Public Library. To arrange pickup of large book donations, send an email to email@example.com or call the United Way office at 219-210-3534.