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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.

3rd Annual Camp Read to Lead is Underway!


United WE READ’s Camp Read to Lead  is currently in operation for a 3rd summer of growth, is funded by a partnership between Ballad Health Foundation and United Way of Greater Kingsport, and is hosted by Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport and Bloomingdale Baptist Church! Our 2019 theme is “Super Reader, Super Self!” focusing 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 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 10-20 new books and other school supplies, and participate in weekly field-trips offering practical, real-world experiences.

In 2018, students showed, on average, a +16.5% gain in accuracy and comprehension over the four week program, and a +5.5% 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, 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. While we wait for this year’s exciting results, our students had some ideas on how adults can continue to help them: “Read to us.” “Read with us.” and “Listen to us read.”

Happy World Read Aloud Day!

We’ve been talking a lot lately about reading aloud, and today is no exception! 02/01/2019 is #WorldReadAloudDay, and what a perfect time to celebrate! The day was founded by LitWorld, and celebrates literacy as a basic human right–the belief that “everyone in the world should get to read and write”–and is also sponsored by Scholastic.

There are so many fantastic resources available to help your family or school celebrate reading aloud EVERY day, but here are just a few that we rounded up:

More World Read Aloud Day resources by Scholastic!

“Checklist for District Leaders” blog post by LitWorld founder, Pam Allyn

“The Rise of Read-Aloud” report by Scholastic on kid and family reading.

United WE READ’s own printable Read-Aloud questions to help you on your next family read-aloud!

Happy reading aloud! And always remember to Read 20 Minutes Every Day!

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!

Families,

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