Women United Helps to Combat the Summer Slide
by: Kelly Fliller
With the official start of summer a few days away, I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about the “summer slide” and the work of Women United, a committee of the United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
Women United is a group of women leaders who are dedicated to making real, impactful change in the lives of children and their parents. I have the honor of being co-chair of this incredible group along with Aimee Fasano, Talent Acquisition Manager of Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The main focus of Women United is combatting the summer slide. During the school year, lower income children keep up with their peers. In the summer months, if these children don’t have access to books and aren’t practicing reading, they begin to fall behind. Each year the gap widens, it becomes harder to catch up and by fourth grade, they will never catch up. We not only raise funds to help this issue, we participate in many volunteer opportunities and raise awareness which is so important. The summer slide is something that I didn’t even know about until I got involved with Women United and really starting diving into the mission.
The women of WU volunteer their time with many programs in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. We purchase new books for the children in our summer literacy programs and read to them to help prevent the summer slide. We also speak to students about career paths and how to achieve their goals. In addition to the volunteer work, we plan events to raise funds for the programs we support, raise awareness about our mission and recruit committee members and volunteers.
We’ve had some great events so far with many more planned. This year, we tried something new and held a “Paint and Sip” event. This was a fun, relaxing way to meet women in the community, talk about what we do, and show them how they can join us and help us carry out our mission. Our big annual fundraiser is Casino Night. This is a super fun event where guests can play casino games and win some pretty awesome prizes, all while helping the children of our community and their families. This year, Casino Night will be November 1st at the Shadowbrook in Shrewsbury and we hope to see you there!
Women United has some amazing plans for this year and we can’t wait to share them with you. Stay tuned for more!
In the meantime, please visit http://www.uwmoc.org/WomenUnited to learn more about how you can help us combat the summer slide.