The United Way Literacy Box is back

Francesca Woolson is pictured with the Literacy Box she recently painted at the United Way of Northern Chautauqua County. Children and families are encouraged to visit the box and take books home to read.

United Way of Northern Chautauqua County held an art contest for area youth, have announced the winner, and installed the finished design in front of their Central Ave. office.

The theme for the contest was Northern Chautauqua Landscapes, chosen to highlight our region and the beautiful scenery that makes it unique.

The winner of the contest was Francesca Woolson, a student in Brandy Noody’s art class at Fredonia High School. As the winner she was tasked with the project of painting the Literacy Box in the United Way’s front yard on Central Avenue with her winning art submission. She has worked on this project for months and the United Way is excited to showcase her hard work for all to see.

Woolson found out about the art contest from her Art teacher, and was excited to submit an entry, she stated, “I have been taking art classes at school, and for five years with Tom Annear, and was excited to have a piece on display. This is the first piece I have created which will be seen by the public, and it is a great feeling.”

Brandy Noody commented, “Fran has really worked hard on this piece devoting her study hall time and other free time to coming down to the art classroom to work on it. Her months of hard work and dedication were really something.”

Ms Noody reports that after having the United Way box in their classroom for so long she has now worked with other classes to design their own book box that will be placed somewhere in Fredonia schools, adorned with a mosaic created by her pottery class.

The Literacy Box holds children’s books, DVDs, and Blu-rays donated by Laurel Hotelling. Laurel’s family requested that her movie collection make its way into the hands of our youth so that it can continue to be enjoyed and provide entertainment.

In addition to the Literacy Box the United Way has set up Laundromat Libraries in some of the local laundromats, where families can take a free children’s book home with them. Youth literacy in the community is very important to the United Way, and the book distribution, literacy box, and the laundromat libraries are all initiatives to provide free children’s books to our youth and their families.

The United Way of Northern Chautauqua County’s mission is to empower our local community through education, financial stability and health. One in three of our neighbors have been impacted by local outcome-based programming, funded by strategic investments of $4,010,150 since 1999. The United Way is located at 626 Central Avenue, Dunkirk. Visit us on the web at www.unitedwayncc.org; follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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