Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

United Way In Delaware County focuses its resources on early child education in an effort to end the cycle of generational poverty long-term. 

The ability to read by 3rd grade is the single greatest indicator of school success. 

Learn more about the importance of reading at grade-level. →

Studies show that 80% of children from low-income households aren't reading at grade-level. In Delaware County, nearly half of the households live in poverty or are Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed (ALICE). The children in these households face a 30 million word gap from their more affluent peers. This is why we must emphasize the importance of reading-based programs and work alongside the National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading to make significant improvements in our community.

Reading ability by the 3rd grade is one of the single greatest predictors of school success. Shortly after this time, students will be asked to start critically reflecting on what they have read, rather than simply reading the materials. This can seem like an insurmountable challenge to children who can barely sound out the words in front of them. It is at this juncture that low-performing students experience incredible difficulty keeping up, and it is not uncommon for those students to fall further behind without some form of intervention. This is where our programs intervene to ensure children are reading — and comprehending materials — at grade-level. 
literacy stats
literacy in alice families
3 million word gap

How are we combating these staggering statistics?

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Goal: Instill a love of reading in children and their families

Who: Children ages newborn until age five who are residents of Delaware County

What: Children receive high quality, age-appropriate books sent to their homes on a monthly basis at no cost to the families

Support: Donate online or by sending a check made out to United Way to PO Box 968, Muncie, IN 47308-9906

Reading Club

Goal: Help at-risk readers improve their reading levels while enjoying learning

Who: Third graders at local elementary schools

What: Third graders work in small groups with passionate volunteers who shore up reading skills and improve comprehension

Volunteer: Contact Nate Rose at 765-288-5586


Delaware County third graders are taking their reading goals up in the clouds in 2019.

United Way in Delaware County and the Academy of Model Aeronautics are partnering to host a Take Off & Read challenge for local third grade students. Through spring, participating classrooms will compete to read the most books.

Students will read as many books as they can, record them on their Flight Logs. All Flight Logs and forms are provided by the Take Off & Read program, and each participating school will receive aviation-themed books for their library that can be read for this contest.

The winning third-grade class at each school will receive a pizza party and a plaque. The school with the most books read overall will win a trophy, and the AMA trailer will come to the school. Finally, every student in the class with the most books read out of all participating schools will be given their own remote-control aircraft!

To sign up your classroom, please contact Nate Rose or 765-288-5586 x308 with the name of your school, the teacher’s name and contact information for each participating classroom, and the number of students participating in each class. In order to participate, each student must sign up for a free AMA Youth Membership here.

Please contact Nate Rose with any questions or concerns.


Find out why the Campaign for Grade- Level Reading is crucial →