Whether you have a little time each week, a few extra hours or just enough time to round up a donation, there is a lot of ways to help children get a leg up on poverty. Here are a few ideas:
Donate gently used books to Reading Tree, a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own books. For more information visit www.readingfoundation.org/utah/donate or contact Colleen Taylor at 801-560-7675.
Read to children in medical waiting rooms with Reach Out and Read, a nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy by teaming up with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. The organization also uses volunteers to deliver books to doctors and organize gently-used-book drives. For more information visit www.reachoutandreadutah.org or contact Anna Farnsworth at 435-232-8260.
Guadalupe Schools, 340 S. Goshen St., Salt Lake City, needs people to help with one-on-one tutoring. If you want to volunteer, contact the school at 801-531-6100. The school also has a wish list of items, including school supplies, that is available for perusal at www.guadalupe-schools.org/help/wishlist.htm.
Mentor a struggling child through Big Brothers Big Sisters. For more information, call 801-313-0303.
Monday nights from 7:15 to 9 p.m., the Road Home shelter puts on a "book club" activity. Volunteers 16 and older can read stories to the children and help them with art projects. The shelter also needs board books for babies and backpacks and notebooks for older children. For more information, visit www.theroadhome.org or call Ashley Farmer at 801-819-7298.
Head Start, a government-funded preschool for low-income children, needs volunteers to help with a variety of different projects, including planning activities for the children, painting, landscaping, translation and computer support. If you can help, visit www.headstart-slcap.org/get-involved.
Volunteer to tutor children and teens at the Boys & Girls Clubs. If you have a little more time, the clubs are always looking for people to teach classes in everything from origami to dance. For more information, or to donate a few dollars, check out its website at www.bgcsv.org for South Valley, www.bgcgsl.org for Greater Salt Lake, or www.bgcutah.org for Utah County.
For more ideas, contact your local school district or check out United Way online at www.unitedwayucv.org/volunteer.
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