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Literacy kits
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In April 2015, Great Bend High School Students were able to raise money to give to a charity of their choice. GBHS decided to donate the check to United Way of Central Kansas. This money was used as seed money for literacy kits.
These kits are designed to help Pre-K students and their families get ready for Kindergarten and spend quality time together before the children head off to school. The kits will include a Curious George book, worksheets to practice writing their alphabet, flashcards for numbers and letters, crayons donated by Wal-mart and lists recommended by the local Kindergarten teachers to help the students be prepared to enter school; all in an adorable monkey drawstring bag. United Way of Central Kansas will be at all the Kindergarten Round-Ups come Spring 2016 in Ellinwood, Larned, Otis Bison and Great Bend to hand out these bags to all the children that attend.  
“We have prepared 400 Literacy Kits and we hope that we can hand every single one of them out to local students. We have had tremendous feedback from the teachers and schools about these kits and they are very excited. We have also had a lot of volunteers helping us to cut out the flashcards, and we couldn’t be doing this without the help of our community,” said Julie Bugner-Smith, Executive Director. Regan Ochs and Cole Reif, Young Leaders Co-Chairs for United Way are spearheading this project and have enlisted the help of many local businesses. These businesses have helped by cutting out the flashcards that will be given to the students. Participating businesses and organizations include Heartland Christian Church youth group, CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions, Credit Union of America, Farmers Bank & Trust, Great Bend Public Library, Barton County Young Professionals and Lincoln Elementary School.  
This community impact project is just another way UWCK is making a difference in the community. United Way Board members, Cole and Regan Reif, GBHS students and UW staff will be delivering these kits April into May to the local schools. The kits will be available at the Kindergarten Round-Ups only. If you have further questions on Kindergarten round up, check with your local school. UWCK would love to hear back from the families and school staff, so share your pictures on the UWCK Facebook page, United Way of Central Kansas.