Readers wanted

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 7, 2022

Volunteers needed for event at schools in  Lawrence County

United Way of the River Cities is hosting its biggest volunteer-driven effort ever with Read Across the River Cities on Nov. 15.

This year will be the first time UWCR has hosted the event and it is part of the organization’s centennial year celebration.

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Volunteers will read in every third-grade classroom across UWRC’s five-county service area of Cabell, Lincoln, Mason and Wayne counties in West Virginia and Lawrence County in Ohio.

The book selection is the classic Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, which is also celebrating a milestone 70 years in publication. In addition to experiencing volunteer readers in their classrooms, each student will receive their own copy of the book to take home.

“Read Across the River Cities not only caps off our Centennial Anniversary, but it will give volunteers a whole new perspective on the impact United Way of the River Cities is making in the communities we serve,” Bill Rosenberger, director of resource development, said.

Currently, more than 160 volunteers have signed up across the five-county area.

In Lawrence County, volunteer readers are still needed in all eight of its public elementary schools. Reading times are at either 10 a.m. or 1 p.m., depending on the school and the time commitment is estimated to be around an hour.

“Whether you are a teacher, parent, caregiver or community member, reading aloud is one of the most important things we can do to nurture a love for reading in children,” Lena Burdette, director of education initiative for UWRC, said. “It not only boosts their vocabulary and reading comprehension, it also reduces stress, improves listening skills and helps develop communication skills.”

People, organizations or companies interested in volunteering can visit to see lists of schools by county and to sign up.

Volunteers will also receive a free T-shirt to wear the day of the event.

“Read Across the River Cities will provide an engaging experience into our efforts to support literacy, early childhood education and educational growth – while also helping volunteers understand the important role they are playing in just this short interaction with students,” Rosenberger said.

Read Across the River Cities is sponsored by the Alcon Foundation, Huntington Foundation, Marathon Petroleum and the Weisberg Foundation.

For more information, contact Rosenberger at or 304-523-8929 ext. 112.