Beaufort News|June 21, 2012 3:43 am

United Way seeks volunteers in national ‘Day of Action’

Seeking 600 volunteers to help tutor Beaufort and Jasper elementary students in reading, United Way of the Lowcountry is turning to social media Thursday as part of the national United Way’s “Day of Action.”

The day includes “The Big Tweet” when United Ways across the country, including the local organization, send out special tweets on the social network Twitter. Follow United Way of the Lowcountry on Twitter at @UW_LowcountrySC or Facebook at UnitedWayLowcountry.

“More and more people are keeping in touch using the digital world, and we are sharing our message and information through Facebook, Twitter and our website,” said Clarece Walker, CEO of United Way of the Lowcountry.

“There’s nothing to replace face to face contact, but using social media helps us reach more people with more information,” Walker said.

The 600 volunteer tutors are part of an expanded initiative by United Way of the Lowcountry to improve education in Beaufort County and Jasper County. The goal is to have 80 percent of students reading at grade level by the time they enter fourth grade, and to reduce the local dropout rate by 50 percent by 2018, Walker said.

United Way of the Lowcountry is reducing tomorrow’s struggles by tackling problems today.

Today, two-thirds of American fourth graders cannot read at grade level. In Beaufort and Jasper counties, pockets of elementary children are behind in developing their reading skills.

United Way of the Lowcountry is recruiting people with passion, expertise and resources to be volunteer tutors for students in kindergarten, first, second and third grades at eight area schools.

Volunteers will serve in the following elementary schools:

• Hilton Head Early Childhood Center

• Hilton Head School for Creative Arts

• Hilton Head International Baccalaureate

• Pritchardville Elementary

• Joseph Shanklin Elementary

• St. Helena Elementary

• Ridgeland Elementary

• Hardeeville Elementary.

In 2012, United Way celebrates the 125th anniversary of the United Way movement. The organization invites all people to join hands with others to improve the education, income and health of our community.

During this milestone year, United Way celebrate those people and organizations – past, present, and future – who continue to advance the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all.

The Big Tweet” will be all day Thursday and will highlight the United Way’s Day of Action. If there are enough participants, the Big Tweet will become a trending topic on Twitter.

Want to help? Visit www.uwlowcountry.org or call 843.982.3040.

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