‘United We Read’ project returns for fifth year

CONTACT: Candy Crecink, executive director

The United Way of North Central Mississippi

(662) 323-3830 [office],

E-Mail- unwayokt@maxxsouth.net

Local United Way leaders are teaming up with the Starkville Kiwanis Club and Family Center Excel by 5 for a project they hope will be a real page-turner for people across a four-county area. Joining the team with their support is Atmos Energy, and A2Z Print Services.

In coordination with National Read A Book Month and National Library Day, the “United We Read” project will be an effort aimed at helping to promote and encourage reading and literacy across Oktibbeha, Choctaw, Webster and Winston counties.

In its firth year, the “United We Read” project “is a great opportunity for the community to come together to help promote literacy. I love that you can do something as simple as donate books and make such an impact said Caitlin Rackley, United Way Board Member and past event chair. Richard Switzer, committee member and Kiwanis Club board member, said “The mission of Kiwanis is to improve the world one child and one community at a time. Education is one of the fundamental requirements towards improving the world. Encouraging reading by giving away books for all ages helps strengthen the main building block of education and therefore the Kiwanis Club of Starkville is proud to participate in the United We Read book drive

The “United We Read” project will take place in two stages. The first part of the project involves a community book drive from April 3rd to two days prior to community’s big giveaway event.. Community members are asked to donate slightly used fiction or nonfiction books – either paperback or hardcover – they no longer want or need. Donors should not bring magazines, used activity books or reference books such as encyclopedias or college textbook.

Collection bins for book donations will be placed at the following locations in Starkville: thru April 26th

  • Cadence Bank (Downtown)

  • Walmart Neighborhood Market

  • Vowell’s Marketplace

  • Greater Starkville Development Partnership

  • United Way of North Central Mississippi Office

  • Starkville Properties

  • Starkville Sportsplex

  • Regions Bank (Downtown)

  • Emerson Family Schools

  • OCH Regional Medical Center

  • MSU Child Development Center


  • OCH Wellness Center

Collection bins in Choctaw County thru April 25th will be placed at the following locations:

  • MSU Extension Service

  • Pap’s Place

Collection bins in Webster County thru April 26th will be placed at the following locations:

  • Piggly Wiggly

  • First United Methodist Church

  • Webster County Public Library

  • North Mississippi Medical Center-Eupora

Collection bins in Winston County thru April 19th will be placed at the following locations:

  • Winston County Courthouse

  • The Jewel Shoppe

  • Winston Furniture Company

  • Stephanie’s Shenanigans

  • Tabor Drugs

Once collected, volunteers will take the books to Starkville City Sportsplex and other locations to be sorted according to reading level/age group and prepared for redistribution at the “United We Read” Book Giveaway events to be held on April 28th from 10 am – 2 pm at the Sportsplex in Starkville, Choctaw County , April 27th from 10amto 4 pm at the Extension Service Office in Ackerman, Webster County on April 28th, from 10 am to 2 pm Old Garan Parking Lot Community Market in Eupora, and Winston County Library on April 21st from 10am to noon in Louisville. The book giveaway events will provide children, youth and adults an opportunity to select books they can read during the summer months. Any books remaining after the “United We Read” Book Giveaway will be donated to the three local libraries for their “Friends of the Library” group to use for their monthly fundraisers, homebound senior citizens, local retirement and nursing homes and the Little Free Libraries program.

For more information about the “United We Read” project or to volunteer, call the United Way offices at (662) 323-3830 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday or send e-mail to unwayokt@maxxsouth.net. United Way of North Central Mississippi reminds everyone that “stronger neighbors make a stronger community”.

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