A new and unique way to engage your employees without leaving the office
Literacy kits are used by reading mentors in the Power Read program and at early childhood centers throughout central Iowa to help students in kindergarten through fifth grade learn and love to read.
Employees say that making literacy kits is a meaningful away-from-desk break that allows them to bond with co-workers and make new friends within the company.
As an added bonus: Employees get a boost from helping their youngest neighbors and making a difference in the lives of the one in five kids who can't read proficiently by the end of third grade—kids who are four times more likely to drop out of school.
For every kit they make, employees hand-write a special note of encouragement for the child who will eventually receive the kit—allowing each employee to forge a personal connection with a child in the community.
Our literacy kits were designed by experts to focus on the skills young children need when learning to read while, at the same time, diving deeper into the book and its themes.
The kits include:
- A children's book
- Several related activites perfect for interaction and imagination
- Instructions for the reading mentor
- A personal note of encouragement from the volunteer to the child
The literacy kits will be used by children in the classroom, in afterschool programs, in early childhood centers and for building libraries at home.
Volunteers who assemble literacy kits at work report high levels of satisfaction and engagement after the experience. Employees receive:
- A boost in mood, morale and productivity following the event
- A fun opportunity to bond with teammates and co-workers from other business lines
- An hour or two spent away from the desk to clear the mind
- Reserved time to practice creativity and apply artistic skills often neglected since childhood
- A lesson about literacy issues facing central Iowa
- A sense of pride for helping our community's most vulnerable children
To hold a volunteer event, the company selects a team leader, the date and location, and a kit from the menu below. United Way of Central Iowa delivers all the materials, instructions and supplies in advance and attends the event to educate volunteers about literacy issues in our community.
The cost is $6 per kit. On average, volunteers can make two kits an hour. The company sets up tables and chairs before the event.
To make the whole experience as easy and convenient as possible, United Way offers each company personalized recruitment emails and an online volunteer sign-up.