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United Way of Miami-Dade needs volunteers

ReadingPals program pairs volunteers with kids

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MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Studies show that children who read at an early age will do better in school, and are more likely to pursue higher education.

The United Way of Miami-Dade launched ReadingPals as a pilot program in 2011 to help children learn how to read and succeed. The program pairs volunteers with children enrolled in pre-kindergarten classes throughout Miami-Dade County's most vulnerable communities. A volunteer is paired with two children and reads to them for 30 minutes once a week, for 28 weeks.

The program also expands early learning beyond the classroom, by providing each child with several take-home books throughout the year

"Volunteers are the key. If we reach our goal of 200, we'll be able to serve more children and change more lives. We promise reading to 4-year-olds will be the best part of your day," said Yanet Obarrio Sanchez, senior director of public relations for United Way of Miami-Dade.

Local 10 News reporter Janine Stanwood became a ReadingPal for the first time this school year.

The United Way of Miami-Dade wants to meet its goal of having 200 volunteers for the 2015-2016 school year by Nov. 1.

Click here to become a ReadingPal.