Staff and volunteers from United Way of the Midlands filled more than 900 literacy totes with over 5,000 books as a part of Be a Book Bunny, a Young Leaders Society (YLS) initiative. The program promotes literacy by filling totes with books and school supplies for local students in kindergarten through second grade.

Eight local school districts including Fairfield, Lexington One, Lexington Two, Lexington-Richland Five, Newberry, Orangeburg County, Richland One and Richland Two received totes through a partnership with United Way’s Midlands Reading Consortium.

“Be a Book Bunny allows United Way’s Midlands Reading Consortium to provide new, age-appropriate books for children in the Midlands who may not have libraries at home," said Melissa Dunn, United Way of the Midlands Director of Education.

She also said the goal is to continue to encourage healthy reading habits at home, especially with what is happening today. "We wanted to give students and families something that could be of benefit while working and learning from home because our families and students have had their lives turned upside down," said Dunn.

Volunteers and staff who packed the books took safety precautions by wearing gloves and using hand sanitizer while packing, according to United Way.

Be a Book Bunny literacy totes included four age-appropriate books, one set of markers, crayons or colored pencils, a ruler and a coloring book.

More information about the Be a Book Bunny can be found on the United Way of the Midlands website.

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