SOMERVILLE, NJ – Volunteers from United Way of Northern New Jersey came together in Somerville and Montclair recently to create summer literacy kits for preschoolers and elementary school students during the annual United Way Day of Action, a nationwide day of service campaign.

Each year on or near June 21, United Ways across the country organize a community-wide day of service. Tied to the Summer Solstice, the event asks residents to use the longest day of the year to lead by example and help those in their communities who are struggling.

This year, United Way of Northern New Jersey saw about 60 volunteers come together to create an estimated 300 summer literacy kits that will help ALICE families and their children practice their literacy skills, improve their nutrition and have fun learning about saving money. ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families are those who are living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to afford the basics.

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The kits will be distributed to ALICE preschoolers and elementary school students throughout the region, including the Agape House in Somerville and the Martin Luther King Youth Center in Bridgewater.

Volunteers decorated the literacy kits with a range of vibrant artwork. Afterwards, volunteers filled each kit with books, a related activity and reading guide for parents, a bookmark and pencil, healthy snacks, a water bottle, an activity to promote healthy eating, a small bank to decorate, a money game, a calculator and information about saving money.

To find out about volunteering opportunities in the community throughout the year, visit United Way Volunteer Link Individuals can search the local area, either by zip code or keyword, to find a volunteer activity that matches their interests and abilities.