United Way Worldwide launched a partnership with ePals, Inc., an education technology company and leading safe social learning network ("SLN"), to bring In2Books, ePals’ flagship eMentoring literacy program, to United Way communities throughout the United States.
United Way and ePals will work together to help reduce high school dropout rates. Facilitated through a classroom or after-school environment, In2Books is a literacy and eMentoring program that helps students in grades 3-5 become better readers by pairing them with adult mentors in a safe, online learning environment. The partnership is part of a United Way effort to recruit one million volunteer readers, tutors and mentors.
“Research shows that caring adults working with students of all ages—from the early years through high school—can help boost academic achievement,” said Peter Hahn, vice president of national engagement for United Way. “The In2Books eMentoring program has a track record of helping children build reading, writing, and critical thinking skills, while allowing even the busiest professional adults to provide meaningful literacy mentorship to students in their communities.”
With In2Books, students develop motivating intellectual relationships at an early age and get authentic practice reading and writing by reading books with eMentors and sharing ideas about the important issues in the books via online letters. These skills are some of the fundamental competencies required by the Common Core State ELA Standards, a U.S. education initiative adopted by 44 states and the District of Columbia (http://www.corestandards.org/
) as essential for preparing students to graduate from high school as well as future college education and careers.
“Engaging our nation’s students early in meaningful reading and writing activities is critical to helping them excel and graduate from high school and in their future careers,” said Nina Zolt, co-founder of ePals. “The In2Books program builds that engagement by creating a network of students, educators, and mentors to support student learning with collaborative experiences and thought-provoking books. Extending this program with United Way’s reach across the U.S. gives both organizations a powerful platform to support the Common Core Standards within schools and transform student learning, achievement, literacy, and educational outcomes nationwide.”
To learn more about the program, or to volunteer as an In2Books eMentor, visit: www.in2books.epals.com