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12th Annual JumpStart Read for the Record on Oct. 29

12th Annual JumpStart Read for the Record on Oct. 29

For the 12th year, United Way of Madison County brings the community together to break a reading record. Last year was no different with 5,188 children and adults hearing the same story on the same day! This year, on October 29, 2020, we want to exceed that record… but we need your help!

Help Make a New Record for 2020!

Because of the pandemic, JumpStart Read for the Record must look a little different. Schools are limiting volunteers and guests in their buildings so in-person reading is taking a backseat to virtual reading. Enter COMMUNITY: a key group of volunteers and advocates working with United Way of Madison County’s Community Impact Director, Cathy Miller, who has reinvented and adapted the initiative to its first virtual format.

“The key focus,” says Miller, “will be to reach every child in public school ages 3-8 years. To do so, we’ve enlisted the help of superintendents in Huntsville City, Madison City and Madison County systems. They will be encouraging EVERY PreK-2nd grade class in their school to be open to receiving a free copy of the book, Evelyn Del Ray is Moving Away from United Way so teachers can read for the record on October 29 with their class. A master’s in social work student virtually interning with United Way has created a mental health tip sheet in conjunction with the story’s themes of friendship, community, and adapting to change that will also be shared. Community champions are already posting on social media their messaging of encouragement to let our community know how this year’s event will work.”

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When: October 29th at 10 AM, Noon, 2 PM, and 4 PM
Where: The United Way of Madison County Facebook Page

So as not to leave any of Madison County’s 20,000 children of this age and the people who love and care for them, United Way will, through Facebook and ZOOM, be bringing readings to the larger community. On October 29th, live Read-Alouds from local celebrities including media star and long-time community advocate Liz Hurley, Drive2 Read and Huntsville Hospital’s Norm Harris, Angela Whitlock, a former intern at United Way (reading in Spanish) and several others, will help us include children still at home.

How YOU Can Help From Home

1. Help spread the word on social media
Follow the United Way of Madison County on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Share their JumpStart for the Record posts with your friends.

2. Tune in to a Read-Aloud event on October 29th
There are four live virtual Read-Alouds to choose from: 10 AM, Noon, 2 PM, and 4 PM – all will be on the United Way of Madison County Facebook Page. In order to be counted towards our goal of 5,500 kids hearing the story, please mark yourself as “Going” on the Facebook Event.

You can also make the pledge to read and/or participate in live readings as a listener HERE.

3. Donate to the United Way of Huntsville & Madison County
Your contribution goes a long way to support child and youth education in the greater Huntsville area year-round. Give online HERE.

Clay Vandiver, President and CEO of United Way, helps put this day in perspective. “During such unprecedented times when our community needs our nonprofit community and its services more than ever, events such as Jumpstart can put our arms around our teachers and our community. It can draw attention to vital issues AND the role of United Way in bringing vital resources and supporting key nonprofits. This one-day event is an extension of our year-round work.

When you give to your local United Way, you invest in quality of life, you bring dollars to the work of building our community and keeping it strong. We are an giving and caring community, and we need everyone to do their part. As we practice what former president Teddy Roosevelt once said, ’The country will not be a good place for any of us to live unless we make it a good place for all of us to live,’ we will get through this.”

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