Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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June 7, 2012

United Way volunteers focus on early learning


The United Way of Central Indiana had nearly 1,000 volunteers out working on early learning programs during its annual Day of Action earlier this week. The “Born Learning” trails in Hendricks County got a “refresh” by volunteers who helped give the projects a facelift.

“I’d say we have about 20 volunteers working in Hendricks County today,” said Susie Friend, Hendricks County area director for United Way. “Our focus today is on early learning projects. These born learning trails are early learning experiences for toddlers ages 2 to 5.”

Alan Witchey, volunteer coordinator for United Way, said there were between 800 and 1,000 volunteers working on projects across Indiana.

Three born learning trails in Hendricks County — Franklin Park in Plainfield, Williams Park in Brownsburg, and Avon-Washington Township Park in Avon — received the royal treatment June 7.

Volunteers Andrea Bacon and Amy Stamper of Commercial Office Environments in Indianapolis and Mark Nogelmeier of Hendricks County Bank and Trust Company helped spruce up the trail at Franklin Park.

“We focus on early learning because we want to help get kids ready to for kindergarten,” Friend said. “United Way has a big focus on kids.”

The United Way also organizes the Early Readers Club, which offers members a new book each month from birth through age 6. The ReadUp program partners volunteers with fourth-graders. For more information on that program, visit the website at www.readUPindy.org.

“Now I am working on a new volunteer program that brings readers into daycare centers to read to 4- and 5-year-olds,” Friend said. “We are matching companies with daycare centers.”

UWCI will be collecting school supplies through mid-July for its annual Backpack Attack program co-sponsored by the Hendricks County Flyer. There will also be a “Stuff the Bus” event where the community is asked to bring school supplies to be donated from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 28 at the Plainfield Walmart parking lot.

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