County youths benefit from United Way book drive

By From page A9 | February 18, 2013

SACRAMENTO – Local residents can help 168 El Dorado County kids reach for the stars by participating in United Way California Capital Region’s 2nd annual STAR Readers Book Drive Feb. 18 through March 8. The drive benefits more than 650 children across five counties in United Way’s STAR Readers project that is working to increase graduation rates by improving early reading skills. Boys & Girls Club of El Dorado County and New Morning Youth and Family Services in Placerville are partners in United Way’s STAR Readers project.

“Up through third grade, children are learning to read. In fourth grade and beyond, they’re reading to learn,” said Steve Heath, United Way president and CEO. “Children reading at grade level entering fourth grade are far more likely to graduate from high school. This book drive will help more than 650 local kids have access to books that will set them on a path for success.”
The online book drive gives donors the chance to purchase age-appropriate books for children in kindergarten through third grade: “A Green, Green Garden” by Mercer Mayer, “Marley: Firehouse Dog” by John Grogan, “Frog and Toad are Friends” by Arnold Lobel and “The Enormouse Pearl Heist” by Geronimo Stilton. The goal is to collect more than 650 books, one for each child in United Way’s STAR Readers project. Books will benefit Amador-Tuolumne Community Resources in Jackson, Boys & Girls Club of Auburn, Boys & Girls Club of El Dorado County, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento, Davis Bridge Foundation, New Morning Youth and Family Services in Placerville, Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center and Yolo County Children’s Alliance in Davis. Books range from $3.99 to $6.99. To purchase books, visit
As part of the STAR Readers Book Drive, United Way is teaming up with Barnes & Noble in Citrus Heights for a children’s reading event. Families are invited to A Starry Night from 7-8 p.m. on Feb. 27 at 6111 Sunrise Boulevard. Local residents will offer dramatic readings of the books, which will be available to purchase that night for the book drive. The event will include refreshments, and children are encouraged to wear pajamas. For more information, visit
For 90 years, United Way California Capital Region has actively worked to address the community’s most pressing issues, now focusing on innovative solutions related to high school graduation rates, household financial stability and obesity. United Way’s team of nonprofits, businesses, donors and volunteers are working together to provide positive, measurable results on these issues through United Way projects: STAR Readers, $en$e-Ability and Fit Kids. Community members can give, volunteer and advocate in support of the causes they care most about, benefiting United Way and hundreds of nonprofits in Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. United Way is an independent, local affiliate of United Way Worldwide.

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Kristin Thebaud

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