United for D.C. launches United Reads Reading Challenge

WASHINGTON, D.C. - United for D.C., the non-profit arm of D.C. United, announced today details of the first United Reads Reading Challenge. Four local United Reads schools, Birney Elementary School (Ward 8), Howard Road Academy (Ward 8), Payne Elementary School (Ward 6) and Smothers Elementary School (Ward 7), will participate in the program. The first of many scheduled player visits in support of the United Reads Reading Challenge will take place at Birney Elementary School, when David Stokes, Andy Metcalf and Ryan McIntosh (Wednesday, April 26); Clyde Simms, Jamil Walker and Domenic Mediate (Thursday, April 27); and Nick Rimando, Justin Moose and Devon McTavish (Friday, April 28) make appearances.

"United for D.C. is proud to be able to initiate a program at our United Reads partner schools in an effort to improve literacy levels amongst the 1,600 participants from grades K-6," said Catherine Marquette, Executive Director of United for D.C. and D.C. United's Director of Community Relations. "Thanks to a helping hand from Verizon, United for D.C. is again able to make a difference in the lives of impressionable children."

Over the next four weeks, United for D.C. and D.C. United players will visit the United Reads schools to encourage the students to read as much as possible and share their experience with parents, siblings and friends. Courtesy of Verizon, each student in the competition will receive a special packet created with reading activities and age-appropriate challenges that encourages the students to become engaged in the act of reading. After the challenge is complete, United for D.C. and several D.C. United players will make a second trip to the schools to distribute certificates of participation to all the students and recognize those students who completed the most challenges or read the most books.

School Schedule

School             Reading Challenge Launch     Reading Challenge Assembly 
Birney (1st year)  April 26-28, 1:45-3:15 p.m.  May 30 
Smothers (3rd)     May 2, 1:45-3:15 p.m.        June 2 
Payne (4th)        May 4-5, 1:45-3:15 p.m.      June 7 
Howard Road (2nd)  May 9-11, 1:45-3:15 p.m.     TBD 

United for D.C.
United for D.C., Inc. was founded on January 8, 2002 as the charitable arm of Major League Soccer's D.C. United. United for D.C. is a 501(c)3 organization chartered to serve the Washington, D.C. community through the creation or support of programs, events and organizations that advance educational and social welfare opportunities (primarily health and recreational) for the area's youth, particularly those who may be economically, physically or mentally disadvantaged.

Stay connected: Get access to breaking news, videos, and analysis from North America's best soccer reporters via "This Week in MLS" newsletter or using our FREE mobile app.