United for D.C. to promote literacy at 'back-to-school' event

On Thursday, September 7, United for D.C. - the non-profit arm of D.C. United - will host a back-to-school event at the United Reads Reading Corner at the Children's Health Center on Good Hope Rd. The event will run from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. United for D.C. continues its partnership with Reach Out and Read to host this event as a kickoff to the beginning of the school year, while also celebrating sixth months from the opening of the Good Hope Rd. location.

"As we continue our relationship with the Children's Health Center, we're pleased to provide an event that focuses the importance of reading," said United Vice President Stephen Zack. "We're especially happy when two of our programs - such as United Drives and United Reads - complement and assist each other. Through the generosity of our fans' donations, we'll be able to provide new books to our United Reads programs and, specifically, to Thursday's event."

Two United players, midfielder Andy Metcalf and goalkeeper Ryan McIntosh, will be on hand to meet with children, sign autographs and participate in reading activities. The United Reads Reading Corner and the event are open to patients and their families. In addition, a group of young students from Stanton Elementary School (Ward 8) will also be invited to attend.

United for D.C. will be passing out new books to the children.

Last March, United for D.C. officially opened the second United Reads Reading Corner at the Good Hope Rd. Children's Health Center. The goal of each Reading Corner is to provide a fun, soccer-themed atmosphere where children and their families can read while waiting to visit their doctor, as well as to promote reading as part of a child's healthy development. In addition, United for D.C. provides books for the health center's waiting area as well as for the center's young patients.

Reach Out and Read, United's partner for the event, is a national program that promotes early literacy by bringing new books and advice about the importance of reading aloud into the pediatric exam room. During regular "well-visits" with pediatricians at 25 clinics in the District, children aged six-months to five years receive a new book. Additionally, health care providers demonstrate to parents how to use the books at home to help their child reach motor, cognitive, and language developmental milestones. Reach Out and Read creates reading corners in health center waiting areas throughout the District and trains volunteers to read aloud and share books with patients of all ages.

For more information on the United Reads back-to-school event or to receive more information about any of United For D.C.'s programs, please visit www.unitedfordc.org or contact Sara Rabe at 202-587-5434.