Volunteers provide kits to improve Iowa kids’ reading skills

Volunteers turned out this week in Des Moines to build kits to help boost the reading skills of kids.

United Way of Central Iowa hosted Literacy Solstice on Thursday. All day, volunteers from around central Iowa created 1,000 literacy kits that each includes a book and activities to reinforce literacy skills.

The event came under READ to SUCCEED, a community-wide call to action focused on increasing the percentage of students who read proficiently by the end of third grade to 90 percent by 2020. The group says children who cannot read by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of school than their peers.

The literacy kits will be distributed to central Iowa child care centers, elementary schools and other child program.