Summer reading isn’t just a nice to have for children anymore.

A Scholastic study shows that younger children and children from low-income families are the most likely to experience a “summer slide” in reading. Each slide they experience can set them further back in school.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) partnered with United Way of the Midlands (UWM) to host the fourth annual Day of Action recently to encourage summer reading among metro area children.

“It’s such a fun day,” said Jill Samuelson, UWM Senior Vice President Marketing and Communications. “It’s a day where adults get to be kids again. You get to see all the smiles and hopefully spark a love of reading that will continue.

Eighty BCBSNE employees volunteered as “reading buddies” to Kindergarten thru third grade Girl Scouts. Each girl received a literacy kit filled with three books and summer reading resources.

“Maintaining continuity with reading over the summer is critically important for children since they do not have the structured time in the classroom to learn,” BCBSNE Director of Claims Jeanne Jones said. “Giving them books to read and encouraging them to see reading as a fun activity can really make a difference in short-and long-term learning outcomes.”

It was the first time that BCBSNE hosted a Day of Action event on campus.

“Blue Cross and Blue Shield has been a wonderful partner of United Way of the Midlands, we wanted to provide an opportunity for Blue Cross and Blue Shield employees to volunteer on Day of Action – even if they are unable to leave the office,” said Brayton Hagge, UWN Manager. “By bringing the volunteer opportunity to Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s location, they were able to meet these young girls, see the impact of their donations and encourage the girls to develop a love of reading.”

Day of Action was a citywide event with volunteers reading with children across the metro area. BCBSNE was thrilled to be a part of the community of giving.