EASLEY — United Way of Pickens County Women United is a community of women who are fiercely committed to improving the lives of children in Pickens County.
Whether advocating or fundraising for programs like Camp iRock and the newly created “Preschool Pages,” Women United is a powerful force for education.
On Thursday, Oct. 4, Women United will host “Reads, Beats & Eats,” an evening of food and music to support early childhood literacy in Pickens County. The event will be held at Sleepy Hollow Barn and Plantation, 220 Issaqueena Trail in Clemson from 6-9 p.m. with entertainment by Left Lane.
“This is not a women-only event,” said Jennifer Shurley, vice president of Resource Development at United Way of Pickens County. “Everyone is welcome. Bring your spouse, a date, your best friends — or come by yourself. This is a very friendly group and a great place to network and meet new people.”
Although a good time is guaranteed, the purpose of “Read, Beats & Eats” is very serious.
Research shows that 80 percent of a child’s brain development happens in the first three years of life. Early experiences build the foundation for later development.
National data shows that racial, ethnic, socio-economic skill gaps are evident at age two. Early literacy experiences with books and print, stories and words and reading and writing make a big difference.
This information, coupled with the fact that 73.6 percent of Pickens County kindergartners tested “not ready” for kindergarten last fall, motivated Women United to develop Preschool Pages.
Preschool pages is a partnership with Central Elementary, Chastain Road Elementary and McKissick Elementary to support the development of early literacy skills in infants through 4-year-olds in the community.
The staff at each of these elementary schools offer regular programming for young children and caregivers to attend.
Through Preschool Pages, Women United is helping these elementary schools by providing books or other needed resources such as volunteer time.
The goal for “Reads, Beats & Eats” is to raise the funds to expand Preschool Pages in all Pickens County Elementary Schools.
To purchase tickets to “Reads, Beats & Eats,” or for more information about Preschool Pages, visit United Way’s website, www.uwpickens.org/beats, or call Jennifer Shurley, 864-850-7094 x104.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.