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Support Education

You have an opportunity to support our efforts around education. We partner with schools throughout New London County all year long to help students and teachers achieve their goals.

Be a Volunteer Reader

In October each year, we join the campaign to Read for the Record, a national campaign to bring children together with grownups to read the same book on the same day. The effort also generates public support for high-quality early learning and highlights the importance of building children’s vocabulary and love for reading. Read for the Record will occur on November 7, 2019.

This year's book is Thank You, Omu! which tells the story of a generous elderly woman who makes a fantastic pot of thick red stew. The scent from her stew travels all throughout her neighborhood and brings all of her community members over to her home for a taste. By the end, she shares a lovely feast with her neighbors where everyone contributes to the meal.

Please contact for more information and to be sure you recieve an invitation for this very popular Reading Day event. Spaces are limited!

>> Interested in suggestions for reading to kids? Browse through a guide with tips and tools for being a volunteer reader from United Way Worldwide.

Run a School Supply Drive

Every August, we mobilize the community to donate and/or collect school supplies to ensure that all children go back to school with the material supplies needed for academic success. In 2019, we collected more than 11,000 items including 1,846 backpacks, 1,195 boxes of crayons, 745 boxes of pencils, 602 glue sticks, 2,246 notebooks, and 450 packages of loose leaf paper. Fifteen local companies and community organizations donated supplies that were provided to 25 school systems and learning centers in New London County.

Consider setting up a few collection boxes at your business or organization to collect supplies from your employees and/or customers. Promote the drive on internal staff emails or to customers via your social media networks. We have posters available to help you. United Way promotes the drive to the community at large through our own social media, website, and radio and newspaper ads. You may drop off school supply donations directly at the United Way office at 283 Stoddards Wharf Road in Gales Ferry. The drive typically runs for 2 weeks in early August each year.

Click here to read more about this year's drive.

Assemble Child Literacy Kits

Literacy Kits are designed to make reading an interactive and positive experience for students as well as for the adult reading with the child. Students gain an understanding that reading can be for enjoyment and for gaining knowledge. Kits include an age-appropriate book and activities created by volunteers relating to the book’s theme. Items in the Kits may be bookmarks, construction paper, crayons, flash cards, letters and numbers, and an activity guide for the parent or caregiver. The Kits are delivered to local elementary schools.

This project can be done on-site at your business or organization - United Way staff will bring everything right to you. You may choose to accompany United Way staff with the delivery of Kits. Please note that there is a cost associated with this project to cover the cost of supplies.

To learn more about our efforts around education and sign up to be a volunteer reader at the next reading event, please contact Laura at