The animals will be given to area first-graders as part of a new program called Reading Buddies.
This May, first-graders at local elementary schools will receive a stuffed animal -- a Reading Buddy -- to read to during guided reading in the classroom and free time.
At the end of the school year, the students will take their buddies home with them to encourage further reading at home with their families.
From preschoolers to high school students, United Way of the Wabash Valley is working to ensure that the next generation is equipped with the skills to succeed in school and in life.
"The Reading Buddies program is part of United Way of the Wabash Valley's focus on education by helping children and youth achieve their potential," United Way Executive Director Troy Fears said.
Reading Buddies is a program within United Way's Success by 6, which focuses on increasing school readiness and helping children succeed.
The Reading Buddies program will be initially rolled out in the Vigo County School Corporation and Clay Community School Corporation with the goal to expand the program to the remaining elementary schools throughout the United Way's six county service area in the future.
Those interested in participating may donate new 12-inch or 14-inch stuffed animals to the United Way of the Wabash Valley, in the Corporate Square Building, 2901 Ohio Blvd., Suite 215, Terre Haute, Ind., the Vigo County School Corporation Administration Building, 686 Wabash Ave., Terre Haute, Ind., or to the Tribune Star, 222 S. 7th St., Terre Haute, Ind.
For more information, call Fears at 812-235-6287 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.