United Way looking for volunteers for virtual Read for the Record event

Every year millions of volunteers celebrate Read for the Record by reading to classrooms to raise awareness about early literacy.

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – United Way of Central Georgia is in need of volunteers for the annual Read for the Record event on October 29th. And this year it’s virtual to adhere to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.

Every year millions of volunteers celebrate Read for the Record by reading to classrooms to raise awareness about early literacy.

This year United Way has teamed up with Bibb County Elementary Schools to take the annual event virtual. According to a United Way news release, volunteers will still be able to read to classrooms by using virtual meeting platforms via recording.

This year volunteers will need about 30 minutes to record themselves reading the book, “Evelyn Del Ray is Moving Away” by Meg Medina for elementary school aged children.

“We are calling on all parents, grandparents, neighbors, friends, and community members,” said Dr. Shelton Land, United Way of Central Georgia Education Program Manager. “It’s important that our community members recognize that when a child isn’t reading proficiently at certain milestones, there’s a direct connection to continuing test scores and eventually graduation rates. This year, not only are children facing usual literacy challenges we see every year, but those challenges are compounded by the continuing effects of the pandemic. As cliché as it sounds, we truly need the community’s support now more than ever.”

The Read United team will coordinate with volunteers to set up these recordings. To sign up for this year’s event, click here.

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Shelby Coates is an evening anchor/producer at 41NBC News. She anchors the 5, 5:30, and 6 evening newscasts. She also works behind the scenes producing the 5:00pm and managing newsroom assignments. She returns to 41NBC after working in Evansville, Indiana as the Morning/Noon Anchor and Executive Producer for WEVV. Shelby also spent time in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where she spent three years anchoring and producing the weekend morning newscasts at WSPA-TV. She also worked as a general assignment reporter, receiving several honors for her investigative and consumer reporting. Shelby has spent time working as a news anchor/reporter in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Macon, Georgia; and Abilene, Texas. Shelby is a native of Clarksville, Tennessee. She graduated from Abilene Christian University in Texas with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in sociology. Shelby has a passion for empowering local communities, church ministry, public speaking, strengthening women and mentoring young people.