Community Helps United Way Provide 615 Books for Local Children

News Release

March 26, 2012 – Local residents have contributed more than 600 books, one for each child in United Way California Capital Region’s STAR Readers project, thanks to a drive presented jointly by United Way, Barnes & Noble, the Sacramento Public Library and the Sacramento Bee.

STAR Readers is a project headed by United Way in which 615 children are receiving intensive assistance from eight nonprofits in Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. The objective of the project is to dramatically increase the percentage of children who score “proficient” or better on the STAR reading test all students take at the end of third grade. Reading proficiently by fourth grade is a key indicator of whether a child will graduate high school.

“The success of this book drive shows that we live in a community that values education,” said Steve Heath, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “I want to thank everyone who purchased books. Thanks to them, there are 615 kids who are going to find learning to read a lot more fun. And that means that these are 615 kids who are far more likely to graduate from high school on time.”

The book drive conducted both online and at Barnes & Noble’s Citrus Heights store focused on four books, three of which were written by local authors, for children in kindergarten through third grade: “Goldie Locks has Chicken Pox” by Erin Dealey, “In the Trees Honey Bees,” by Lori Mortensen, “Gecko’s Complaint” by Ann Martin Bowler and “The Absent Author” by Ron Roy.

As part of the book drive, United Way teamed up with Barnes & Noble in Citrus Heights for a children’s reading event on March 14. Three of the local authors participating in the book drive read from their books, which were available to purchase that night for the drive.

United Way is the region’s leading provider of innovative solutions on the community’s most pressing issues, including high school graduation rates, household financial stability and obesity. United Way’s team of nonprofits, businesses, donors and volunteers work together to provide positive, measurable results on these issues through United Way projects: STAR Readers, $en$e-Ability and Fit Kids. Community members can give, volunteer and advocate in support of the causes they care most about, benefiting United Way and hundreds of nonprofits in Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties. United Way is an independent, local affiliate of United Way Worldwide. For more information, visit