Bring books to select branches — or donate online — to help local children with their reading skills.

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Third grade may not seem like a crucial year in a child’s development, but it’s more important than you think! According to a study released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a child’s reading ability at this stage can help predict his or her likelihood of graduating high school and entering college.

That’s why it’s important for kids in kindergarten through third grade to have continuous access to reading materials. Summer reading programs help youngsters to practice their reading skills so that they can maintain the progress they have made during the school year.

Our Summer Book Drive

At Desert Financial, we know that solid reading skills are one of the building blocks of a child’s future. With that in mind, we’re coordinating a Summer Book Drive throughout the month of May to collect reading materials for Valley children in grades K-3.

We invite members and community members to donate new (or gently used) books at one of the following Desert Financial branch locations through June 6th, 2018:

  • 44th Street Branch
  • Arrowhead Branch
  • Bell and 303 Branch
  • Black Canyon Branch
  • Palm Valley Branch
  • San Tan Branch
  • Stapley Branch

Can’t get to a bookstore or branch, but still want to help? By donating online to the Valley of the Sun United Way’s Summer Learning Collaborative, you can help ensure that local students get the reading materials they need to succeed.

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It’s Summertime, and the Learning is Easy

Because children in low-income households enter kindergarten with significant gaps in reading and language experience, it’s especially important to provide them with learning opportunities at a young age. According to the Valley of the Sun United Way, summer learning loss can create up to a 3-year gap in reading skills between children from lower-income households and their peers.

In 2017, the Valley of the Sun United Way’s Summer Learning Collaborative helped more than 1,000 Valley children — many from lower-income families — maintain their reading skills. Students in this program gained an average of three months of reading achievement, which can help them to catch up to their classmates. By donating new or used books, or contributing online to the Summer Learning Collaborative, you can help local children hone the reading skills that will set them up for future success!