Tag Archive for: family

Resources for Families Learning Together at Home | Our Response to COVID-19 Closures

Families, while you and your students are home due to many COVID-19 precautionary closures, United WE READ remains committed to our mission of “engaging, empowering, and equipping all children, families, and the Greater Kingsport community with tools and strategies that build a literacy rich culture, and a pathway to lifelong success.”

Right now, that pathway to success may take the form of online learning resources, free books for kids, and partnering with our school districts who continue to provide basic needs like breakfast and lunch. Check back here often for an ongoing, updated list of some of the best resources we can round up.

Remember, the best thing you can do to help your student during this time is to be a safe, stable, and nurturing presence in their life. And, as always, we encourage you to “#READ20 Minutes Every Day!”

Basic Needs

Educational Tools

Mental Health & Physical Well-being

Happy Valentine’s Day! | Fall in Love with Reading

Our local Kingsport Public Library‘s Children & Youth Librarian, Ms. Casey Applebaum, compiled some great book choices to get you reading with loved little ones this Valentine’s Day!

Casey’s Top Picks in Each Category. Read on for even more suggestions!

Picture Books

#1 My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall

One of my favorite picture books of all time, My Heart is Like a Zoo not only explores the love anyone can have for someone else whether friend, family, or romantic interest, but also shares common zoo animals and a basic characteristic. 

Casey Applebaum

#2 Here Comes Valentine’s Cat by Deborah Underwood
#3 If You’ll Be My Valentine by Cynthia Rylant

Beginning Readers

#1 Llama llama Be My Valentine by Anna Dewdney

Be My  Valentine celebrates the joy of the classroom Valentines Day party and takes on the topic of using your own strengths and abilities to create gifts for others instead of trying to replicate another person’s work.

Casey Applebaum

#2 Melvin’s Valentine by Jon Scieszka
#3 Love is in the Air by Jonathan Fenske

1st-2nd Grade Readers

#1 Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentine by Barbara Park

Junie B’s teacher tells them they must all bring Valentines for the whole class and when the time comes to distribute them, Junie B recieves an extra Mushy and Gushy one. This title explores the drama of having a secret admirer and trying to figure out who it is in typical silly Junie B. fashion.

Casey Applebaum

#2 Captain Awesome Gets Crushed by Stan Kirby

3rd-5th Grade Readers

Hope you found a new book to love!
Check out more book recommendations and activities on our Valentine’s Pinterest Board. And remember to #READ20 Minutes Every Day!

Congratulations to United WE READ’s 2019 Camp Read to Lead Students!

United WE READ’s Camp Read to Lead just completed a fantastic third summer of growth! This exciting camp experience was funded by a partnership between Ballad Health Foundation and United Way of Greater Kingsport and hosted by Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport and Bloomingdale Baptist Church! Our 2019 theme of “Super Reader, Super Self!” focused on each child’s unique talents and strengths–including being great young readers!

Modeled around the successful statewide initiative, “Read to Be Ready,” United WE READ’s program seeks out over 60 students who were behind grade-level assessment in reading ability at the end of the spring semester. The program is structured for teachers to work in a close 5:1 ratio with students for two and a half hours per day over one month, and United WE READ uses the same pre and post-program assessment tools as the state initiative. Each rising 1st and 2nd grade student has an opportunity to gain a love for reading, confidence, improve literacy abilities, build a personal library of nearly 20 new books and other school supplies, and participate in weekly field-trips offering practical, real-world experiences.

In 2019, students showed, on average, a +11.2% gain in accuracy and comprehension over the four week program, and a +2.2% gain in areas such as motivation, value for reading, and self-concept as a reader (All assessments based on Read to Be Ready standardized questionnaire and passages). Additionally (and for the third year in a row),100% of regular attenders maintained or improved reading levels, achieving our goal to reduce the “summer slide” where students can fall behind during summer months.

Summertime – Road Trip Ideas

It’s summertime and that means many families will be hitting the road for trips, family visits, vacations, or even just the daily shuttling to camps and activities. ( Raise your hand if you’re taking a car ride with kids at any point this summer🖐🏽🖐🏿🖐🏼).

Why not make that car time valuable for brain building, interacting with kids, and keeping minds busy to avoid the dreaded, “Are we there yet?!” questions! We thought this list over on Trunki (an organization that is dedicated to “putting the breaks on tiring travel”!) was a great starting point!

Our United WE READ teachers especially love the “Holiday Journal” idea–all it takes is some blank paper, a little pre-planning, and lots of imagination!
Let’s keep kids reading, writing, listening, and speaking all summer long and fight the summer slide one car ride at a time!

View the ideas from Trunki here! And let us know what you plan to do in the comments below!

Reading Aloud

What books have you discovered from reading aloud as a family? Is there anything new that you’ve learned from reading a book that you might not have picked on your own?
Check out this great blog post from Mary Anne Health for The Journal, where she talks about reading with her two young children.

And remember, by reading just 20 minutes a day, children develop a larger vocabulary, a longer attention span, and better listening skills. Reading is a basic tool for success in school, work, and life.

#READ20 #ReadingtoLead #UnitedWEREAD

Keep Your Brain Active This Winter!


Our friends over at ThinkStretch.com have some fantastic resources to keep students’ brains active during winter! With fun activities, reading logs, STEM & science experiments, and more for every grade level, it’s a sure way to keep the winter boredom blues at bay! Check out their free downloadable packets here!

Read-Aloud Questions

Did you know? It is helpful for readers of ALL ages to read aloud together with an adult! Print out these these questions to use before, during, or after your next read-aloud to enhance the experience and to learn together. #LeadingtoRead