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Angela's Letter

Posted: February 27, 2019
Thank you for visiting the Lehigh Valley Reads website – I’m glad you found us!

When I have an opportunity to sit down with people in our community to talk about literacy, no one is ever surprised to hear that the ability to read is important. Yet, there is a point in the conversation where ears perk up and eyebrows raise, and occasionally there are some goosebumps – it’s when we talk about the barriers. Transportation, food access, trauma in the home, the list goes on. Sometimes a child’s inability to grasp a concept or do their homework has nothing to do with what happens inside the classroom. 

Lehigh Valley Reads is our region’s grade level reading campaign and is committed to ensuring all of our students are reading at grade level by the end of third grade, by 2025. It’s helping children and their families from birth. It’s where the community and the classroom meet. It’s making sure all of our teachers have access to top-notch professional development opportunities. It’s about changing lives. Lehigh Valley Reads ensures that our youngest learners reach their highest potential, improving overall quality of life in our community one story at a time.

But we can’t do it alone. That’s why we have developed key partnerships with over 100 organizations across the Valley. From major health networks and institutions of higher education to bodegas and barber shops, Lehigh Valley Reads is a true community-wide campaign powered by United Way of Greater Lehigh Valley and PBS39, and led by 5 coalitions comprised of over 200 volunteers. This campaign is an example of how a collective effort can affect large scale social change, and there is much work to be done. As I sit and write this letter, 35% of Lehigh Valley students who entered fourth grade this year aren’t reading on grade level. They need our help.

One of our most valuable tools is knowledge. This website is full of resources for educators, families, and the greater community. Please feel free to explore and connect with us! Whether you are looking for a summer program for your child or you’re a teacher in search of content for the classroom, we have something for you. 

Again, many thanks for stopping by and joining our movement. For more information and how to get involved, please contact us here. I look forward to your participation in helping us write this next chapter for our community.

Best regards,
Angela Zanelli
Campaign Director