When Cady Bond, ABB Inc.’s commercial operations manager, heard about the opportunity to read to local kindergarteners, she knew it was a great way for her to give back.
“The kids are so eager to see us,” Cady said. “We are making a huge difference in their lives by getting them excited about reading.”
United Way of Southwestern PA and ABB started the volunteer reader program in Westmoreland County to help increase classroom learning opportunities and build stronger business-to-community partnerships throughout the region.
Now, Cady, along with nine other ABB employees, regularly read to four kindergarten classes, a total of 80 students, at Rumbaugh Elementary School in Mount Pleasant. The volunteers read to the students, help them with crafts, and send them off with a copy of the book they read that day—helping the kids build their own library at home and promoting continued learning and reading outside of the classroom.
“It is so important that kids are reading every day,” Cady said. “And having someone other than your teacher come in and read can really invigorate that desire to learn.”
Cady and her colleagues read to the children over the course of six sessions from January to April, something they hope to continue next year. “Now that we have the first year under our belts we can get more people from ABB involved,” Cady said.
Cady encourages other businesses in the community to consider joining their efforts or starting a program at another local school. “You just have to show up with your happy face,” she said. “That’s all it takes to make an impact.”
If your workplace is interested in learning more or volunteering, contact us at http://www.unitedway4u.org/contact-us.