As your holiday shopping wraps up, stop by Barnes & Noble in West Des Moines on December 8 or 21 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. to purchase a gift for a child in need of books.
On these days, volunteers from United Way of Central Iowa will assist shoppers in purchasing books for children and youth who likely don't have many at home.
Choose from board books for babies and toddlers, nonfiction books, and books for upper elementary and middle school students.
In addition, Barnes & Noble will donate a portion of the sale proceeds from these days to an area elementary school with an immediate need for books.
Donating books helps support our work to increase third-grade reading proficiency in central Iowa to 90 percent by the year 2020. Kids who can't read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of school than their peers.
One in five kids in central Iowa aren't reading at grade level.
To make a difference year-round, consider volunteering with Power Read, a literacy and mentoring program that pairs volunteers and elementary school students to read together on a weekly basis. Everybody Wins! Iowa and United Way of Central Iowa are partnering to provide reading and mentoring experiences to children who might not have one-on-one attention from an adult.