United Way of Trumbull County implemented the Reading Great by 8 Early Literacy Initiative during the summer of 2014. This initiative is a continuum of programing that reaches children from birth to age 8, each designed to increase the number of Trumbull County children reading at grade level by grade three, with an emphasis on children from low-to moderate-

income families. The initiative now includes The Ohio Governor's Imagination Library, The Born Learning Trail, Read 4 Fun, ABC Reading Ready, and Ready, Set, Go!  Nearly 50,000 books have been provided to children who participate in one or more of UWTC's literacy programs.


According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s “Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters,” three quarters of students who are poor readers in third grade will remain poor readers in high school. Academic success, as defined by high school graduation, can be predicted with reasonable accuracy by knowing someone’s reading skill at the end of third grade.

"Ready, Set, Go!" is a two-week summer intervention program for children who need extra reading assistance in order to pass the Ohio Third Grade Reading Test.  Students are identified for participation by teachers of partnering school districts.  Placement is determined at the conclusion of second grade.  Certified teachers help provide the reading support required to meet the needs of their cohort of students.  

Based on a 10:1 ratio, each child receives 40 hours of instruction. Success is then measured by the number of students who demonstrate improved literacy skilled based on a pre- and post-assessment.

ABC Reading Ready is a two-week summer intervention program for children transitioning from kindergarten to 1st grade who are identified by the participating school district as reading below grade level.  Staffing includes a lead teacher and a classroom aide.  Certified teachers help provide the reading support required to meet the needs of their cohort of students.  

Based on 10:1 ratio, each child recieves 40 hours of instruction.  Success is then measured by the number of students who demonstrate improved literacy skilled based on a pre- and post-assessment.

students learning skeletal system
Student shows spinal column made of Twiz
student learning skeletal system
Seuss-tastic Guest Readers from WFMJ
Students identifying fish
Seuss-tastic field trip
Seuss-tastic field trip
Mayor participates in Read 4 Fun
Mayor and student reading aloud
Ted Stazak at Champion
Susan Olive of Kent State at Mathews
Rep Michael OBrien at Lincoln PK-8
Sherri Hull at Champion
Lindsay McCoy at Lincoln classroom pictu
Lindsay McCoy at Lincoln pointing to boo
Jennifer Kennedy of Cortland Bank at Mat
Jody Stringer and classroom
John Guarnieri at Mathews
Esther Gartland WGWL at Mathews
Labrae Dollar General Photo
McDonald Students
Ronald McDonald House
Read 4 Fun at LaBrae
Read 4 Fun at McGuffey
McGuffey Read 4 Fun
LaBrae and Dollar General 9
McGuffey Read 4 Fun
Read 4 Fun LaBrae

Read 4 Fun is an interactive program designed to build students' confidence and creativity through fun reading experiences with the help of community volunteers.


In the spring, volunteers read a story to K-2 students across the county in celebration of Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss's birthday.  In conjunction with this event and in partnership with the Eastwood Mall, the program offers a "Seuss-tastic Reading Challenge," a contest where classrooms complete fun and silly reading assignments for a chance to win an all-expense paid fieldtrip to Dr. Seuss' BIG Birthday Bash at the Eastwood Mall.


In the fall, volunteers engage 2nd grade students by reading a select story, helping with a craft that is themed to the story, and providng a healthy snack.  This event shows students that reading can be fun and not only about passing tests.   


The fall series is currently held in all four Warren PK-8 Schools (Willard, Jefferson, Lincoln and McGuffey), Badger Elementary, Champion Elementary, LaBrae's Bascom Elementary, Lordstown Elementary, and Niles Primary.  Read 4 Fun reaches nearly 4,400 students annually.

(The programs healthy snacks are generously donated by

Giant Eagle of Howland and Jamestown Villiage Giant Eagle in Warren.)

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United Way of Trumbull County now offers the Ohio Governor's Imagination Library to residents of Trumbull County.  Through this program, children will receive FREE age-appropriate books mailed directly to their home each month until their 5th birthday.  The Imagination Library allows children to accumulate a free, personal library to encourage reading and help develop the skills necessary for kindergarten. To learn more, CLICK HERE

Make a donation of $5 or more to support the Imagination Library in Trumbull County and receive a special copy of Our Family Favorites, A Collection of Beloved Recipes by First Lady Fran DeWine and Dolly Parton.  The cookbooks are limited, so donated today to receive your copy!  CLICK HERE

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The Born Learning Trail turns everyday experiences into teachable moments.  This multi-station, family-learning, outdoor course provides interactive, engaging activities that stimulate cognitive development, promote early literacy, and encourage physical activity for kids. So bring the kids to play, and see have much they learn.  Just look for the Born Learning Trail signs in Perkins Park, located 680 Perkins Drive, N.W., off Mahoning Avenue, near downtown Warren.


The Born Learning Trail is an excellent resource for parents and caregivers spending outdoor time with children under the age of 5.

Read Aloud videos will be accepted 

through December 31, 2021. 

Learn MORE about our "Read 4 Fun"
Read Aloud Volunteer Opportunities.

Reading Great by 8 is available at no cost to the students or school districts thanks to funding provided

by our partners and generous donors:

The Cafaro Foundation, the Greenwood Foundation, and individual donors who have chosen to designate a portion of their annual contribution to support the Reading Great by 8 Early Literacy Initiative.    

The installation of the Born Learning Trail was sponsored by 7 17 Credit Union.