The non-profit organization promotes Read, Talk, Play, Everyday! campaign; Volunteers wanted

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – A new initiative encouraging people to read, talk and play with their children more often will debut May 12 in conjunction with the Champaign County Community Coalition Walk as One event.

The program Read, speak, play, every day! The program is part of United Way of Champaign County’s ongoing early childhood development efforts.

“This campaign highlights how vital the early years can be,” said Beverly Baker, impact manager for United Way of Champaign County. “The years between birth and age five are a golden opportunity to give children the best possible start in life. Reading, talking and playing more often with our children can make a real difference in their development.

According to officials, Read, Speak, Play, Everyday! is inspired by research that shows that 80% of brain growth occurs during a child’s first 1,000 days. By stimulating children from an early age, they can be “ready to learn” when they start kindergarten.

Officials said the year-round campaign aims to provide free resources, information and encouragement to help caregivers and children in east-central Illinois commit to reading, talking and playing together daily. . Free materials and information include a kindergarten readiness calendar and daily parenting tips available by text or online HERE.

Read, talk, play, every day! The volunteers will officially kick off their campaign by distributing free kindergarten readiness kits in various neighborhoods in Champaign, Urbana and Rantoul during the Walk as One event on May 12.

Organizers said they still need volunteers for the May 12 event. Anyone interested can register IN LINE.

Read, talk, play, every day! is a community-wide initiative under the United Way of Champaign County dedicated to providing preschoolers with the opportunities and resources to help them enter kindergarten ready for success.

Aubrey L. Morgan