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Raising Readers in Story County Strives for Fairy Tale Ending: A City of Readers

It all started when local mother Carolyn Jons dared to ask the question, "What would Ames, Iowa look like if it was a city of readers?" She challenged members of her community to answer that question. And they did.

In response, community partners imagined a county transformed by books. Books in unlikely places: in parks and waiting rooms, in the hands of parents with children on their laps. And classrooms full of children entering grade school on reading level.

Sharing the joy of reading with a child

You may be thinking that March 2nd is just another day on the calendar, but there’s cause for celebration. The date marks Dr. Seuss’s birthday and the National Education Association’s (NEA) nationwide campaign to get kids excited about reading.  

Born in 1904, Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote his first children’s book, Cat in the Hat, in 1954 in response to a report that suggested children were having trouble learning to read because their books were boring. With Dr. Seuss’s books and caring adults, millions of children have loved learning to read ever since.


Connecting Young Black Men to Education and Job Training Resources

Nearly 70 percent of black men between the ages of 18-24 in Rockford, Illinois are unemployed, four times higher than the rate for young white men.

The lack of a high school diploma, job experience, employer discrimination and mental health issues such as depression are some of the obstacles young black men face when seeking employment, according to United Way of Rock River Valley.

Tyair Jones is among the hundreds of students who drop out of Rockford Public Schools every year.

An Innovative Approach to Overcoming Barriers to Stable Employment

When Juan’s car started having problems, he took it to the dealership and discovered the transmission needed to be replaced. But the price tag for this much-needed fix was way beyond what he could afford. This wasn’t just an inconvenience for Juan; his car was his only reliable transportation to his night shift job (one of two full-time jobs Juan was holding down at the time).

Certification in Volunteer Administration: The Next Step in Effective Engagement

Are you a volunteer manager? Or a volunteer who has benefited from the leadership and organizational skills of a good volunteer manager? If so, you know that volunteer managers are responsible for a positive volunteer experience and extending the impact of service. Training volunteer managers is worth the investment. After appropriate training and experience in the field, certification is the next step in effective volunteer engagement.

It’s Tax Season: Think about finances and lending a hand

Depending on whether you like to get things done right away or are a procrastinator, tax season could be in full swing or fast approaching. You’re gathering your W2s, trying to understand investment documents, and – if you’re lucky – thinking about what to do with your refund.

For many people, however, these are luxuries. Low-income Americans are more likely to be thinking about paying the rent or picking up an extra shift. Their ability to save and invest is limited at best.

Character Playbook Takes Center Stage at the Nasdaq

Representatives from the NFL and United Way, founders of Character Playbook, an education initiative operated by EverFi that focuses on youth character development and building healthy relationships, visited the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square to share the honor of ringing the Nasdaq stock market closing bell, along with 35 Students from I.S. 96 Seth Low School, a Brooklyn middle school implementing Character Playbook.

2-1-1: We Make Sure You Get the Help You Need

When Natasha was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, the news could not come at a worse time. According to this report by Kevin Robinson in the Pensacola News Journal, Natasha recently had taken on the responsibility of caring for her grandchildren, and now she found herself too sick to work – with the promise of help from disability checks still many months away.


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