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United Way goes online to provide children an education in literacy

SACRAMENTO — As schools conduct classes virtually, United Way California Capital Region went to work this past week meeting first graders where they are — online.

This year’s annual Woodland Kids Read and Dream literacy event, held Wednesday, was done virtually at seven of Woodland’s elementary schools through their first-grade Google classrooms.

Though in years past, community leaders called “local celebrities” would join students in their classrooms to read stories, this year’s event featured recorded videos of local celebrities reading children’s books, including Woodland Chief of Police Derrek Kaff, retired pediatrician Dr. Marcia Gollober and more.

Local children’s author Sandy Holman surprised students with a live read of her book, “We All Have Heritage,” using distance learning technology. Holman has participated in the event for the past four years with her presentation about love, diversity, education and living your dreams.

“This is a beautiful community event that gets Woodland kids excited about reading — a first step toward succeeding academically,” said Stephanie Bray, president and CEO, United Way California Capital Region. “I’m proud of our Yolo County team for finding a way to create that same excitement through a virtual event so Woodland kids can continue to grow their love of reading.”

Woodland Kids Read and Dream 2020 is sponsored by The Rotary Clubs of Woodland, Yolo Community Foundation, Corning Foundation, Union Bank and Woodland Veterinary Hospital.

For nearly 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has brought local people together to make community change happen. Today, the nonprofit is bringing people together across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties for its Square One Project, a 20-year promise to increase the number of students in our region who graduate from high school ready for success in college.