United Way Reading Room Opens at La Mirada in Manatee

SRQ Story Project Partner Spotlight


The READ UNITED Reading Room opened June 19 at La Mirada Apartments in Manatee County. Staffed for the summer with teachers and teachers’ aides (thanks to an investment by the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading partners) and equipped with books, audio books and Launch Pads loaded with literacy games, the room brings learning opportunities to those who need them most. The 150 children living at La Mirada don’t typically have access to summer learning activities so the room stayed open from 9am-1pm this summer, helping children avoid summer learning loss.

Just a few months ago, the community room at La Mirada was not a place anyone would want to spend time. The room was home to a mop bucket and a rolled-up carpet. But, thanks to the vision of United Way, along with support from the Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County, Manatee County Public Libraries, Manatee County Public Schools, local businesses, and a lot of hard work by dedicated volunteers the room has been transformed into a bright, cheery place for kids to improve their reading skills or be exposed to reading for the first time. 

Early literacy is a key pillar in United Way Suncoast’s mission to break the cycle of generational poverty. We know that children who aren’t reading at grade level by 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to drop out of high school, so we seek every opportunity to prepare our youngest residents for future success.

For more information, or to join the fight for the people in our community, contact unitedway@uwsuncoast.org or call the United Way Suncoast office nearest you. 

Manatee Area | 941.748.1313            

Sarasota Area | 941.366.2686           

Tampa Bay Area | 813.274.0900

United Way Suncoast

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