When Jayce’s kids fell behind in reading, a United Way program helped them improve their skills—and their confidence.

When I learned that my daughter, Nadine, was reading at a pre-K level in grade 2, it felt like a punch to the gut. I’m a single mother of four kids and had just entered university. I was so busy, I didn’t realize she was floating under the radar. Once I knew, though, my focus became enhancing all my kids’ learning abilities.

At first, I thought a literacy camp would just give Nadine extra practice, but right away, she showed so much improvement. She came home every day with stories about reading books with the volunteers, and I thought, ‘I want my daughter to have this much excitement reading with her mom.’ Within the first week, I was getting pamphlets on how to make reading fun and engaging for parents, too. I was glad to get them—they’ll help me in the future with my two younger children.

Reading is confidence. I can’t fully express what United Way has done for my kids.

Jayce

My son Chase wasn’t as under the radar as Nadine was, but he was reading at a lower level. So, when they were both invited to the camp the following summer, I knew it was the best choice. The camp gave him so much confidence. Chase deals with ADHD, but the volunteers didn’t discourage him for learning at a slower pace—they were patient with him.

Now that I’m a literacy teacher myself, I understand that reading is confidence. That’s why I push for these camps. If any parent has access to them, they need to jump right in with their kids.

Chase and Nadine are now seven and 10; they’re both reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and they talk about what’s going to happen next. When I was first told Nadine was three grades behind in her reading level, I would never have guessed that she and Chase would be reading chapter books together two years later.

Show Your Local Love

David OdumadeNadine’s Story