Early Learning Center

United Way's John Moore provides an energetic reading of a Dr. Seuss classic.

“Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!”

The children at the University of Delaware’s Early Learning Centers (ELC) in Newark and Wilmington could barely contain their excitement as dozens of readers and volunteers from six organizations streamed into their 16 classrooms.

The United Way of Delaware (UWDE) partnered with UD to participate in Read Across America Day on March 2, encouraging adults to read to children. The event coincides with Dr. Seuss’ birthday, with each child receiving a Dr. Seuss book to take home.

“Research shows us that the single most important thing we can do to encourage a child to read is to read to them,” said Peg Bradley, director of the ELC. “Read to infants because they love to hear the rhythm of the words. Read to toddlers because they begin to understand what the words mean. Read to preschoolers because they put themselves in the story and start to imagine. And of course, read to school age children because that will help them become proficient readers.”

During opening remarks, New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer shared that he had been a middle school teacher for four years. “I felt like we weren’t reaching kids early enough,” he said. “Hearing that the ELC is reading to toddlers is music to my ears.”

“United Way looks forward to Read Across America Day each year. We are grateful to our amazing partners and volunteers for ‘raising their hands’ to give their time to our kids in Delaware. Their move to action is evidence that we are truly able to make an impact when we stand together,” said Michelle A. Taylor, president and chief executive officer or UWDE.

Read the full article on UDaily.