UPS Store Inc. awards Read Aloud WV $10,000 worth of books

The UPS Store, Inc. named Read Aloud West Virginia as one of 10 non-profit organizations across the country to each receive $10,000 worth of books to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Toys for Tots® Literacy Program, which promotes children’s literacy in low-income and disadvantaged communities across the United States.

The UPS Store, Inc. will donate $10,000 worth of books from Scholastic.

The UPS Store, Inc. invited the public to nominate qualifying charitable and philanthropic groups, receiving over 1,000 submissions. Kanawha County volunteer Lesley McCallister nominated Read Aloud.

A selection committee reviewed all nominations and chose the 10 recipients based on their mission to serving children in underserved communities, especially by providing educational resources and enrichment.

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Our Annual Fund update: Why we ask

As we near the end of the year, Read Aloud West Virginia is grateful to the many donors, friends and volunteers who support our efforts that motivate children to want to read. We cannot do it without you.

Our Annual Fund drive continues. We are trying to reach goals for next year’s work. If you have not given and are considering, please know:

1. Read Aloud has Neighborhood Investment Program tax credits available. Those credits can be used any time over the next five years, starting with the donation year. They lower a West Virginia personal income tax bill or a corporate net income tax bill by as much as half the gift amount starting with donations of at least $500. Donors may receive no more than $100,000 a year in NIP credits, and credits cannot be used to reduced a tax bill by more than half. That means a $10,000 donation would cut a tax bill by $5,000. A $500 donation would reduce a tax bill by $250.

2. What we are doing is working. First, Read Aloud focuses on motivating children to want to read, not fussing at them to read.

Continue reading “Our Annual Fund update: Why we ask”

Read Aloud’s Annual Fund Drive — Why we ask

Letters will arrive in mailboxes any day now — it’s time for Read Aloud West Virginia’s 2018-2019 Annual Fund drive.

Why does a mostly volunteer organization need to raise money?  Read Aloud’s work, even its very existence, depends on funds provided by our wonderful donors. These contributions enable our staff to support local chapters and grow our program.

While volunteer chapters are the face of Read Aloud in their respective communities, we know from experience that they count on an office and staff to support them. We’ve actually tried it the other way with all volunteers. Read Aloud was founded in 1987 but from 2000-2007, we existed without staff, and the number of chapters fell from 53 to four in that time period.

Read Aloud was re-established with a central office in 2007-2008. Quality and involvement have grown steadily since. Today, we serve more than 200 schools in 31 counties.

That progress would not be possible without our generous donors.

Read Aloud routinely evaluates efforts to make sure we put time, effort and money where they do the most good to help West Virginia children grow into successful readers and students. Over time, our activities have been winnowed down to four broad categories: weekly classroom Read Aloud volunteers, distribution of books, classroom enrichment and public education.

During the last school year, Read Aloud volunteers reached 33,000 students across the state. Imagine 33,000 students, week after week, enjoying new books or old favorites, each student seeing a “live commercial” for reading together, just for fun.

As comments from teachers in this newsletter show, students of all ages look forward to this time and “light up” when their Read Aloud reader enters the room.

That is what our donors make possible.

That is why the letters are on their way, to encourage you to consider making a donation to help us continue the work of getting books in the hands and on the minds of West Virginia’s children.

Thank you for reading and for being a Read Aloud supporter.

We have Neighborhood Investment Tax Credits available while they last.

Checks can be made payable to:

Read Aloud West Virginia
P.O. Box 1784
Charleston, WV 25326

Questions? Call 304-345-5212 or email

Thank you


Congratulations and thanks, to Dr. Dan Foster and the YMCA

Dr. Dan Foster of Charleston is winner of the 2018 Spirit of the Valley Award, given by the YMCA of Kanawha Valley.

Dr. Dan Foster of Charleston was recognized by the YMCA with the 2018 Spirit of the Valley Award for his four decades of work in health care and public service in the Kanawha Valley.

The award comes with a donation, made in the recipient’s name, to a non-profit organization chosen by the recipient. Dr. Foster chose Read Aloud West Virginia.

In his remarks at the award luncheon, Dr. Foster talked about his mother and how she shared her love of reading with him. He pointed out that both the YMCA and Read Aloud have an impact on the lives of children.

Read Aloud West Virginia seeks to improve West Virginia’s literacy rates and educational attainment by motivating children to WANT to read. Read Aloud’s research based programs — Volunteer Readers, Book Distribution, Public Education and Classroom Enrichment — put books in the hands and on the minds of West Virginia’s children.

The 501(c)(3) organization also raises community awareness regarding the importance of reading to children from infancy into adolescence and the value of providing children with a print-rich environment. During the past school year, Read Aloud distributed more than 8,300 books and placed 1,113 volunteers in over 1,652 classrooms across 30 counties in West Virginia.

These volunteers serve as live commercials for reading. The readers are also important role models who allow children to experience the joy of reading and, in so doing, motivate them to become proficient readers. Once equipped with this essential skill, students experience more success in all subject areas and are better prepared for a promising future. Students who develop good reading skills tend to go further in school, to have higher lifetime earnings and even to enjoy better health.

Read Aloud thanks the YMCA for recognizing Dr. Dan Foster’s service and commitment to the Kanawha Valley. The organization is tremendously grateful to be allowed to share in Dr. Foster’s honor as his non-profit designee. Recognition from those so dedicated and accomplished as Dr. Foster and the YMCA strengthens our own commitment to serving our mission in the Kanawha Valley.

Among the many congratulatory messages compiled for the booklet printed for the August award ceremony was this one from the John L. and Maude H. Dickinson Family:

“Thank you for making West Virginia your home and for making our community a better place to live.”


Read Aloud can offer WV NIP tax credits! Get ‘em while they last

Read Aloud West Virginia can once again offer West Virginia Neighborhood Investment Program (NIP) tax credits to qualifying donors. The benefit reduces a donor’s state personal income tax bill or corporate net income tax bill by as much as half of the gift amount.

Donations of at least $500 qualify for the NIP credit and help us pursue our mission to motivate children across the state to want to read. With your help, we are changing the literacy climate in West Virginia.

Donations made by Dec. 31, 2018 can qualify for credits to apply to taxes due in 2019, but credits are limited and offered for as long as they are available.

The tax credit may be applied in one year, or during the next five years. Individuals are limited to receiving no more than $100,000 in NIP credits in a single year.

Proposed changes in federal tax policy could reduce the effect of the state credit on federal taxes related to donations made after Aug. 27, 2018, but state rules are unchanged.

Donors may give online, or make checks payable to Read Aloud West Virginia and send them to Read Aloud West Virginia, P.O. Box 1784, Charleston WV 25326.

For more information about NIP tax credits or anything else, please call Read Aloud at (304) 345-5212, or email Executive Director Mary Kay Bond at Thank you.

Carter Family Foundation and City National Bank support Read Aloud

Read Aloud is most grateful to the Carter Family Foundation and City National Bank of West Virginia for funds they recently gave to support our Book Distribution Program.

The Book Distribution program sponsored by Read Aloud West Virginia continues to grow and provide West

Virginia’s children with access to high interest reading material. Research shows that access matters.

Just as access to a basketball and hoop are essential to building basketball skills, access to books and magazines are necessary to building reading skills.

Thank you, Carter Family Foundation and City National Bank, for enabling Read Aloud to reach even more children with high-quality reading material!