“Every child deserves a quality education and the opportunity to succeed in school, work and life,” Kathy Vinzant, Director of United Way of Lincoln County, said.
The local branch is just one of thousands across the world set to participate Friday in the international organization’s annual Day of Action event.
“This Day is celebrated all across the World, giving people an opportunity to do more, learn more and help make a difference,” Vinzant said. “For us (Lincoln County), it gives an opportunity to help our agencies in another way.”
Each United Way agency carries out a different event of their choosing for the special day in order to not only promote the organization’s goals but also encourage new recruits and show continued support for member agencies, a press release said.
Lincoln County nonprofits that are already a part of the local United Way organization submitted project ideas for Day of Action, Vinzant said. This year, the day will focus on improving student literacy and academic success by sorting and handing out children’s books.
By aiding struggling young readers, nonprofit officials hope to improve student self-esteem and grades.
“Kids are learning to read through third grade,” she said. “After that, they’re reading to learn.”
She further revealed that children who fail to learn how to read or read correctly often become high school dropouts.
The project will ensure children have access to summer reading material county-wide.
Nonprofit officials and community volunteers will sort and distribute books Friday to United Way’s member-agencies, some of which include Communities in Schools, Boys and Girls Club of Lincoln County and Special Olympics.
The organization also plans to donate a portion of the books to the Department of Social Services, which often times uses books to reward children who are trying to make better choices, Vinzant said.
Earlier this year, United Way placed drop-boxes in various county locations, encouraging citizens to donate a variety of reading material such as chapter books, cook books, craft books, pre-school books and more.
Vinzant praised community members for their “servant hearts” in supporting and volunteering with this year’s Day of Action project.
In the past, projects have included building wheelchair-friendly picnic tables at A Place to Grow in Lincolnton along with picnic tables for Lincoln County YMCA, Salem Industries, Amy’s House and Lincoln County Child Advocacy Center.
Along with picnic table construction, volunteers have carried out shelving, painting, re-carpeting and home repairs.
Vinzant said Duke Energy and Wells Fargo annually donate $1,000 to the agency, most of which United Way utilizes to fund Day of Action projects.