big book drop

United Way’s Big Book Drop brings reading fun to thousands of local kids

Above: Volunteers Cindy Fischer, Amy Lee Heinlen, Kimberly Smith, Lyn Dutertre and Sara Baron help out with the Big Book Drop. Photo courtesy of United Way.

Thousands of kids in our region have new books on the way.

On April 18, 150 volunteers from Covestro, KPMG, Federated Hermes, University of Pittsburgh, Koppers and UPMC gathered for the fourth annual Big Book Drop, hosted by United Way of Southwestern PA. These volunteers spent the day at Acrisure Stadium helping to pack 30,000 books and prepare them for distribution.

The next day, teams arrived from 93 agencies that partner with the United Way throughout southwestern Pennsylvania’s five-county region. They picked up the books for distribution to children ages 4-8 in their service areas.

The chosen books — stories that shine a light on diversity, inclusion, STEM and more — include these titles:

  • “Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You” by Sonia Sotomayor and Rafael López
  • “Eyes That Kiss in the Corners” by Joanna Ho and Dung Ho
  • “We Are Water Protectors” by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade
  • “Where Are You From?” By Yamile Saiede Méndez and Jaime Kim
  • “How to Read a Book” by Kwame Alexander and Melissa Sweet
big book drop
Federated Hermes volunteers Rob Sedlar, Amanda Burns, Bennett Lo, Bob Mele at Acrisure Stadium. Photo courtesy of United Way.

Each book includes information about United Way’s Hi5! kindergarten registration program.

“United Way’s Big Book Drop provides low-income homes with books, promotes reading, and helps increase early literacy across the region,” says Wendy Koch, director of volunteer engagement for United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania. “Children and their families can enjoy storytime together and start to build their at-home libraries. Along with the books, parents receive information on United Way’s Hi5! kindergarten registration initiative. When students are ready for kindergarten and start school on the first day, they’re prepared to build success in school and life.”

Coming soon: The Best Books for Babies diaper and book giveaway is happening this weekend. 

And do you know a child or teen doing good in our community? Tell us about a Kidsburgh Kind Kid — we’d be glad to celebrate them!