In July 2013, a handful of employees from the Cedar Rapids Target store volunteered with United Way of East Central Iowa by placing stickers on around 2,000 books for United Way’s RED Ahead program. These stickers provide parents with examples of learning activities that enhance their reading experience with their child. For example: Ask questions such as “What will happen next?” or “What else could the boy in the story have done?”
The Target volunteers were a great help to the program. They have saved RED Ahead staff, who would have had to sticker the books themselves between clients, days of work . Now staff will be able to focus their time on serving more clients. And the volunteers said it was such an enjoyable activity, they’ll come back as often as needed to help.
A United Way initiative, and partnership with the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program (HACAP), RED Ahead provides low income families with children younger than age five with educational materials, age appropriate books, and activities to develop the child’s language and literacy skills.