Kids Who Read Are Kids Who Lead.

Summer is synonymous with fun: beaches, camping, vacation adventures and the enjoyment of a great book. Many local families have no access to books when school is out, leading to “Summer Setback” for their children. Those losses are more pronounced for low-income students, and this gap widens further for minorities.

To help bridge the gap and change the story for local kids, United Way of San Diego County’s “Day of Action” will provide summer reading books to children whose parents can’t afford them. Through a book drive held throughout the month of May, United Way will purchase and collect books for 60,000 low-income children across the region. This year’s age-appropriate, bilingual offerings are “Catch Me If You Can “Where Am I Hiding?” And “Daniel’s Mystery Egg.”

All San Diegans can join this year’s book drive by bringing gently used books to locations throughout the county or by donating new ones. To cap off Day of Action on June 20, San Diego business leaders and volunteers will gather at City Heights Library to help kids get excited about shopping for their own books. Later in the summer, youngsters throughout the County will also receive their very own books, a bookmark with a personal note of encouragement and bilingual reading tips for their parents.

Research shows that children who read over summer not only fare better in fall comprehension tests but excel in school as well. “When children own their own books,” said United Way President & CEO Kevin Crawford, “they’re more likely to love reading, and good readers are more likely to graduate from high school.”

You can help rewrite the story for San Diego’s children and introduce them to a love of reading. To learn more, donate or buy books, visit