United Way of Aroostook and Katahdin Trust Company are excited to once again partner for the Summer Slide Reading Program. The program encourages early readers to continue reading throughout the summer to help keep them engaged in learning and sharpen their reading skills over summer vacation. This will be the sixth year that Katahdin Trust has supported this program.

“We are proud to partner with United Way of Aroostook on the Summer Slide Program,” said Krista Putnam, executive vice president, chief marketing officer. “After the transformation of education that has happened the past year, we think this program is more important than ever before to keep kids engaged in learning over the summer.”

This year, 635 bags containing books, activities and other fun items have been distributed to first grade students at 20 Aroostook County area schools by the United Way. This program will allow children to continue that reading momentum and help prevent the typical “summer slide” that can occur once children end the school year.

“Reading over summer vacation may not be a priority for children, but we want to encourage parents to make it one. Summer reading is critical to a child’s ability to not only retain information learned the previous year, but also to grow in knowledge and critical thinking skills for the coming year,” said Sarah Ennis, United Way of Aroostook executive director. “We are thankful for this yearly partnership with Katahdin Trust to help prevent the summer slide that can happen. It puts books into the hands of every first grader to make sure all children have books available to read at their reading level.”

United Way of Aroostook is dedicated to improving the education and future of Aroostook County’s youngest citizens through the Summer Slide Program as well as several other United Way programs like Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and Stuff the Bus.