My Very Own Library’s partner in Delaware does some remarkable things to improve student literacy. United Way of Greater Delaware (UWDE) works with 14 schools to provide a rich variety of reading enrichment programs. These programs have positively impacted students, says Ken Livingston, Director of Get Delaware reading for UWDE.
“We know that the My Very Own Library program has a statistically significant impact on helping young people develop emergent literacy scores,” Livingston says. “It improves their reading and writing performance and develops a motivation to read and improve basic language abilities.”
In 2020 UWDE and its partner schools had to adapt suddenly to the changes wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. So, they doubled down on the variety of programming, with an emphasis on virtual ideas, such as partnering with the local public access TV channel to broadcast volunteers reading aloud. Also, when books were distributed directly to students and their families, UWDE and their schools added complementary resources and kits to address the needs of families in need, such as pajamas and food, and literacy kits contained puzzles, journals and phonics devices.
Watch Livingston and Dr. Orrin White, Director, Community Impact for UWDE, revisit their challenges and successes in Delaware.