More than 1,000 San Angelo ISD second-grade students celebrated literacy and individuality during “United We Read” on Wednesday, November 8. Eighty-five volunteers from local businesses and organizations visited all 17 SAISD elementary schools and read “Be You” by Peter H. Reynolds to second-grade students for United We Read, a bi-annual event put on by the United Way of the Concho Valley.
"United We Read is one of our favorite events at United Way,” said Ashley Ammons, President and CEO of the United Way of the Concho Valley. “We initiated United We Read to emphasize the importance of literacy and reading to and with children, and having local volunteers read to the students adds a special touch.”
“Be You” is an uplifting story that promotes individuality and encourages everyone to be true to themselves. Thanks to the San Angelo Health Foundation’s generous sponsorship of this year’s event, every second-grade student in the District received a copy of “Be You” and participated in an activity where they created self portraits. “Providing each student with a brand new book and craft not only makes for an incredible day but also leaves a lasting impression on the students and their families,” Ms. Ammons said.
Ms. Ammons read “Be You” to second-graders at Alta Loma Elementary, which was live streamed on Facebook from the District Facebook page with the permission of Scholastic Education. Watch the full video below or on the San Angelo READS! YouTube channel where more read alouds are available for viewing.
“United We Read” is a collaboration event of The United Way of the Concho Valley and SAISD’s literacy initiative, San Angelo READS!. The goal of United We Read is to promote reading to, and with, children. “This marks our fourth year, and the impact continues to grow, resonating throughout the year with the addition of our summer pop-up events,” Ms. Ammons said. “We are thrilled about the future of United We Read and the positive impact it will make in the years to come.”
“SAISD is incredibly grateful to all of the volunteers who took the time to read to and visit with our students today,” said Sun Cha, SAISD Director of Community Relations. “We are blessed to have such great community partners who invest their time and resources into our students.”
More about the United Way of the Concho Valley
United Way of the Concho Valley fights for the education, health and financial stability of all individuals in the 14 counties of the Concho Valley. Together with Community Partners, United Way works to address the root causes of poverty to not only deliver hope, but bring lasting change.
The San Angelo READS! community-wide literacy initiative was founded by the District in 2020 to promote and encourage reading and the SAISD future-ready learner profile attributes among SAISD students and the greater San Angelo community. The goal of the literacy initiative is to increase awareness of the importance of literacy and to inspire a love for reading. This exciting initiative is driven by statistics which show how vitally important literacy is to providing all students with the opportunities to succeed at a young age. Children and teenagers who read for pleasure on a daily or weekly basis score better on reading and writing tests than infrequent or non-readers.
SAISD kicked off San Angelo READS! on December 9, 2020 with the inaugural San Angelo Reads! Day, a day when literacy was celebrated at every SAISD elementary campus with literacy fun like read-ins, unveiling book vending machines and a gift of a book to all SAISD third-graders compliments of the San Angelo Area Foundation. Inside and outside our classrooms, SAISD is committed to building literacy skills which create students who are prepared for future success, thus building a better tomorrow for our students and community.