On the evening of Nov. 7, United Way of Santa Barbara County gathered educators, youth service agencies and community volunteers on behalf of United for Literacy’s Reading Plus Roundtable event at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort.

The goal of this biannual event is to collaborate resources and best practices used throughout Santa Barbara County to engage and motivate students in United for Literacy’s Power Reading program. Power Reading is one of three UFL strategies used to engage third-grade students and beyond to “read at or above grade level, at every grade level” by increasing silent reading and comprehension skills.

Reading Plus is one of the advanced technology tools used by United for Literacy partners to accomplish this goal. United for Literacy’s Power Reading program and partnerships are implemented at school sites during the academic day and year, in addition to after-school and summer enrichment programs at 37 sites through Santa Barbara County.

The fall 2011 Reading Plus Roundtable had more than 50 United for Literacy partners in attendance and was an evening reception filled with dynamic best practice sharing and enrichment development for education professionals and volunteers in Santa Barbara County.

Featured speakers included Adena Zender, a teacher at Vandenberg Middle School; Rachel Wolpo, a volunteer recruiter for the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County; and DJ Ware, a regional representative of Reading Plus.

— Sara Templeton represents United Way of Santa Barbara County.