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United Way launches book drive to help San Diego families

Donations accepted all week at SDCCU Branches
Posted at 6:03 AM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 09:03:20-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - In celebration of Dr. Seuss's birthday, and as part of "America Reads," the United Way of San Diego is holding a week-long book drive across San Diego County.

"Reading to children is the utmost important thing a parent can do," says United Way CEO Nancy Sasaki.

The United Way will accept book donations at their office, and also at any SDCCU branch location across the county. They're also teaming up with Warwick's Book Store in La Jolla for donations.

The need is most significant among low-income families. The United Way says 61% of low-income families in San Diego don't have any books in their homes for kids. That puts them at a significant disadvantage.

"If a kid is not at a 3rd-grade reading level by the end of third grade, we know they're four times more likely not to graduate high school on time," says Sasaki. "And if they come from low-income communities, they're six times more likely to fall behind."

Studies show that reading to children as few as three times each week helps promote vocabulary and reading proficiency.

"In many family settings where the parents are working 2 or 3 jobs, and they're crossing paths in the night, and they're barely able to get the food on the table, reading is not so easy to do," Sasaki says. "So just having books in the household is an important part."

The United Way is also hosting a series of reading events this week. For more information about those, click here.