On June 6, 2019, over 170 amazing women took time out of their busy schedules to attend the Livingston County United Way’s Women United inaugural event. It was a great success – jam packed with a comedy skit, speakers and seven stations showcasing ways to get involved in helping improve children’s literacy!
Nancy Rosso, executive Director for Livingston County United Way (LCUW) kicked off the evening with announcing that all women in attendance are now members of Women United! Nancy stressed that “we are not looking to compete with other women’s groups in our community, but we are wanting to involve women of all ages in growing local philanthropy and volunteerism.” She went on to explain “that 42 percent of our local third graders are not reading proficiently and per the language of the resolution adopted by the Women United Steering Committee and the LCUW Board of Directors, there is a moral and economic imperative to better prepare our children to succeed in school and life and we recognize that literacy knowledge and skills developed in the pre-school years predict later literacy achievement as well as prepare children to be career ready”.
A comedy skit and improv provided by Cristian LaBar and Jen Delisi engaged the audience with Mom and Teacher humor. Sean LaRosa, Assistant Superintendent for Early Literacy at Livingston Educational Service Agency (LESA) stressed the importance of the “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” community campaign. Becky Raden, a local preschool LESA Great Start Readiness Program teacher gave real life stories of how local children have benefitted from this program.
Melissa Schwartz, member of the LCUW Board and Women United Steering Committee, described how the group can adopt the 29 identified classrooms, which will mean that 464 local children will get to take home and keep 4,186 new books! She encouraged the women to donate, sign up to volunteer and support our local children, teachers and parents. Citizens Insurance launched the effort by underwriting the costs of adopting three classrooms!
Women United is so excited to have 170 members of like-minded women who contribute their personal passions, best ideas and unique skills to join in the mission of “Growing Great Kids” in Livingston County! They invite all local women to save the dates of October 17 and February 20 for the next Women United events. Details about volunteer activities as well as ways to donate whether it is for 1 book or an entire classroom ($2,000) are available on the website at lcunitedway.org and FB page @lcunitedway.
Terri Hillier, Development & Marketing Director
Livingston County United Way