Jayce - Mom of program participant

When Jayce’s kids fell behind in reading, a United Way program helped them improve their skills—and their confidence

Reading between the lines

When I learned that my daughter, Nadine, was reading at a pre-K level in grade 2, it felt like a punch to the gut. I’m a single mother of four kids and had just entered university. I was so busy, I didn’t realize she was floating under the radar. Once I knew, though, my focus became enhancing all my kids’ learning abilities.

At first, I thought a literacy camp would just give Nadine extra practice, but right away, she showed so much improvement. She came home every day with stories about reading books with the volunteers, and I thought, ‘I want my daughter to have this much excitement reading with her mom.’

Within the first week, I was getting pamphlets on how to make reading fun and engaging for parents, too. I was glad to get them—they’ll help me in the future with my two younger children.

My son Chase wasn’t as under the radar as Nadine was, but he was reading at a lower level. So, when they were both invited to the camp the following summer, I knew it was the best choice. The camp gave him so much confidence. Chase deals with ADHD, but the volunteers didn’t discourage him for learning at a slower pace—they were patient with him.

Now that I’m a literacy teacher myself, I understand that reading is confidence. That’s why I push for these camps. If any parent has access to them, they need to jump right in with their kids.

Chase and Nadine are now seven and 10; they’re both reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and they talk about what’s going to happen next. When I was first told Nadine was three grades behind in her reading level, I would never have guessed that she and Chase would be reading chapter books together two years later.

I can’t fully express what United Way has done for my kids. The positive effects of literacy camp last much longer than the two weeks the kids spend there; the future of my entire family has been positively impacted.


“Reading is confidence. I can’t fully express what United Way has done for my kids.”


Jayce’s kids, Nadine and Chase, were falling behind in reading. But a United Way literacy camp changed everything.

There’s an issue
Children and youth are our future. But too many young people in our community are struggling. Poverty and lack of supports early on can have lifelong effects that make it harder for kids to access future opportunities.

You can help
United Way invests in programs that target the most at-risk youth in our community so that every young person gets the opportunity to succeed.

3,736 kids in grades K-3 received help to improve their reading and writing skills, increasing their potential for academic success

Your generosity fuels vital supports for kids and their families including tutoring and education programs that build confidence, impact classroom participation and help kids achieve their academic goals and future career plans.

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