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UWCK Literacy Kits
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Daniela Armendariz, a student at Park Elementary School in Great Bend

Throughout 2015, numerous businesses, organizations, and individuals took time out their busy schedules to help the United Way of Central Kansas prepare 400 Literacy Kits to be distributed at Kindergarten Round-Ups in Great Bend, Ellinwood, Larned, and Otis-Bison. On May 6, the last of those Literacy Kits will be given out to enrolling Kindergarteners at Holy Family Elementary School.  
This project was truly a group effort which kicked off with a donation from Great Bend High School Community Service Day donating $1,500 to UWCK. This donation was the seed money to begin these kits and with numerous hours of time donated by Heartland Christian Church youth group, CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions, Credit Union of America, Farmers Bank & Trust, Great Bend Public Library, and Lincoln Elementary School, all the pieces just needed to be put together. Barton County Young Professionals hosted a work day and put together all 400 bags. These kits included hand cut alphabet and number flashcards, a Curious George book, worksheets to practice writing their alphabet, and lists recommended by the local Kindergarten teachers to help the students be prepared to enter school; all in an adorable monkey drawstring bag.  
The purpose of these kits is to help prepare children for school. Literacy is a key indicator of future education success, and UWCK saw a way to make an impact. Working with local Kindergarten teachers, UWCK put together a kit that the children can work with over the summer to be better prepared to start on their first day of school. “We are excited to see the impact that these kits have on how prepared Kindergarteners are in August and we look forward to any feedback from parents and teachers. We are already gearing up to starting working on the kits for next year and hope that we can distribute even more.” said Julie Bugner-Smith, United Way of Central Kansas.
If you would like to volunteer for this or any other United Way projects contact UWCK @,  620-792-2403 or Volunteers in Action @  620-792-1614.