United Way hosts 100 volunteers to sort thousands of children's books

The United Way of Rhode Island welcomed approximately 100 volunteers to its Providence headquarters Saturday as part of the annual Day of Action.

During the Day of Action, a global volunteer event of United Way Worldwide, volunteers sorted, labeled and packaged thousands of new and gently-used children's books donated through its annual Children's Book Drive.

Since it was established in 2012, the statewide Children's Book Drive has collected more than 64,000 books, and distributed them all to Rhode Island children.

In Rhode Island, nearly 30 percent of all fourth grade students score below proficient in reading; a number that grows to 42 percent for youth from low-income households. In response, UWRI has partnered with Books Are Wings to put free books in the hands of children during the critical summer months to help them remain engaged in learning and stem summer learning loss.