June 6, 2016

RSVP Receives Grant from Essex Rotary Club

Local RSVP Receives Grant from Essex Rotary Club

May 16, 2016 (South Burlington, VT) – United Way of Northwest Vermont’s RSVP program has received a $3,500 grant from the Essex Rotary Club’s Literacy Committee. The grant will help support RSVP’s Read to Me program, developed in 2009 to promote early learning, literacy and school readiness in early childhood programs, specifically among high needs students.

This year’s grant will help the program to focus on STEM literacy: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. STEM impacts a child’s ability to understand the world, how it works and how they function within it. Knowledge of STEM helps young children begin to make predictions, solve problems, think creatively, and explore solutions all of which are vital skills for child development.

“We are thrilled that the Essex Rotary Club is showing their continued support for early learning through a generous contribution to our Read to Me program. We know how vital the program is in developing literacy skills and a love of reading among pre-elementary aged children. We believe that this success can be translated to improving STEM skills as well,” says Ellen Biddle, Director of RSVP.

RSVP’s Read to Me program recruits and matches volunteers aged 55+ with children in child care centers and preschools who need additional supports to gain early literacy skills. Volunteers read one-on-one or in small groups helping children build those skills and develop a lifelong connection to books. RSVP volunteers enrich their own lives while helping children across Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties to achieve their potential as learners.

A program of Senior Corps, RSVP is one of the largest volunteer efforts in the nation and has matched local problems with older adults who are willing to help since 1971. To learn more about RSVP or the Read to Me program, please contact Ellen Biddle at or

About United Way of Northwest Vermont
United Way of Northwest Vermont unites our whole community to solve complex problems and harness the power of people to create a stronger region. We proudly serve Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties of Vermont. United Way convenes advocates, organizations and institutions to address the community's most pressing issues, focusing on the building blocks of a vibrant community: Education, Income and Health. The problems facing our community are complex; they are issues that no single organization or individual alone can solve – real change is possible when nonprofit, public and private sectors work together. United Way has the networks, partnerships and strategic initiatives to improve the lives of our family, friends and neighbors.

For more information about United Way of Northwest Vermont, call 864-7541 or visit

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