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United Way's signature literacy initiative connects volunteers with local elementary schools, where they spend an hour reading with two students for 30 minutes each week, helping students get on track - and stay on track - with grade-level literacy. Some volunteers choose to join the program with a partner, splitting the time commitment and participating every other week.  

ReadUP has helped students get on track with grade-level literacy for 16 years. The program targets children in third grade, when students shift from learning to read to reading to learn. Reading comprehension at that age can serve as a predictor for a student’s future educational success.

Of the 300 students who participated in ReadUP in the 2022-23 school year, 60% grew four or more reading levels, which is roughly the equivalent of one grade level, and 28% grew six or more reading levels, roughly the equivalent of 1.5 grade levels!

ReadUP volunteers interact with hundreds of students in 20 Central Indiana school districts. Along with increased academic performance, ReadUP students leave the program with increased confidence and a deepened love for reading.

Volunteers must complete a background check and a one-hour training session.

If you have any questions, please reach out to the United Way education team at


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