03/02/21 - 03/17/21
The United Way of Mid Coast Maine isn’t letting a pandemic stop them from hosting the annual Community Read Aloud. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, the event could not run as usual, with volunteers going into classrooms throughout the area to share their favorite kids book with them. Instead, there was a mix of pre-recorded videos and online virtual meetings.
A YouTube playlist was put together with a dozen videos of various community member reading their favorite kid’s book. Volunteer readers included Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry, Representative Denise Hepler, and Lois Skillings of Mid Coast – Park View Health. With an array of stories ranging from baby board books to chapter books, there is a video for every child to enjoy. United Way shared this playlist with more than 100 school and childcare centers throughout the region, as well as with the local children’s librarians.
More than a dozen volunteers offered to schedule an online live reading with classrooms at Phippsburg Elementary, West Bath Elementary, and Williams-Cone School in Topsham. Recently retired United Way staff member Peter Lindsay had this to say about his experience during the Virtual Community Read Aloud: “I would have loved to have been there in person instead of on screen, but having said that, we had a good time! I read A Chair for My Mother, an old favorite, and Doggies, a counting board book by Sandra Boynton in which we all get to make the sounds of the different dogs. It is fun to do with a group!” Peter Read to Mrs. Baldwin’s Kindergarten class at Phippsburg Elementary.
United Way of Mid Coast Maine understands that early exposure to books and language is positively linked with school readiness and adult literacy. Sharing stories, songs, and books with infants and young children help prepare children to learn to read and to succeed in school and beyond. Reading with young children also provides times for parents and child to bond, an important part of their growth and development. United Way of Mid Coast Maine will continue to offer this important event each year, hopefully getting the volunteers back into the classrooms next year. For now, people can watch the videos on the United Way of Mid Coast Maine YouTube page at www.youtube.com/channel/UCH5OluFj2h30zQWUvz6ybbQ.
For more information, call 207-443-9752 or visit www.uwmcm.org.