2017 Day of Caring

Help ensure 1,200 kids are ready for Kindergarten!

A FREE bike will be given away at each location, courtesy of Berkshire Bank &
one lucky family will win a FREE 30-minute scenic flight, courtesy of Lyon Aviation!

Download the Day of Caring Flyer
Download the Volunteer Commitment Form

What: The Day of Caring is Berkshire United Way’s communitywide volunteer day and celebration. The 2017 Day of Caring will focus on the distribution of 1,200 Literacy Kit Backpacks—one for each incoming kindergartner—throughout the county.  The backpacks will be assembled by volunteers from Berkshire Bank as part of their annual Xtraordinary Day of Service.

P.S. One lucky family will WIN a free Piper Navajo plane ride over the beautiful Berkshires with five seats, courtesy of Lyon Aviation at the Pittsfield airport.

When: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. across Berkshire County. The Movers + Shakers celebration will be on June 23rd, 7:00 - 11:00 p.m at Hancock Shaker Village.

Where: Childcare of the Berkshires -
210 State Street, North Adams

            Outdoor Storywalk® near Noel Field
            Story corner with kindergarten books
            Decorate cloth lunch bags and healthy
            lunch ideas

            Storytelling for young children 

Williamstown Youth Center -
66 School Street, Williamstown

            Dress-up and face painting
            Storytelling for young children
            Crafts and games
            Nature-oriented activities

Boys and Girls Club of Pittsfield - 16 Melville Street, Pittsfield
           Activity stations to include:
                  Parent and child relay races, parachute play and cornhole
                  STEAM kit activities
                  Story time
                  Shoe making and learning to tie
                  Create a self-portrait
           Hop on a school bus

Dalton CRA - 400 Main Street, Dalton
           Make a bookmark
           Sign up for a library card
           Hop on a school bus
           Face painting
           Ice Cream

Lenox Community Center - 65 Walker Street, Lenox
           Free balloon animals with Balloon Ben from 5-6 p.m.  
           Activity stations

Berkshire South Regional Community Center - 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington 
            Bookmark table
            Story Corner
            Scavenger Hunt
            Hop on a school bus
            Library card signup and book giveaway
            Coloring station    
            Bounce house

Lee Bank - 75 Park Street, Lee
            Fingerprinting by Lee Police Department
            Hop on a school bus
            Story Corner
            Bookmark making station

Bushnell Sage Library - 48 Main Street, Sheffield
            Born Learning Trail with Karen
            Story time at the gazebo
            Craft activities
            Lunch tray relays

Why:  Learning to read by the end of third grade is the most important predictor of a child’s future success. Yet, many kids in our community miss this important milestone. Only 51% of our Berkshire County children are reading proficiently by 3rd Grade. Literacy development begins as early as birth, with parents and caregivers playing a crucial role in building literacy skills. Literacy kits provide parents with the tools needed to help build these skills and start their children on the path to school success.

We are seeking to raise $30,000 through the “We Care” campaign and the Movers + Shakers Party to support Berkshire United Way’s year-round early literacy efforts. 

How Can You Help?

Way to Care #1: Volunteer.

Help to distribute the 1,200 backpacks across the county on June 21. Generously donated and assembled by Berkshire Bank employees on their Xtraordinaray Day of Service on June 7 - we will have volunteers handing out backpacks to parents and their kids from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. at sites across the county - including:

Volunteers can also help to make these distribution sites - each of which is near one of our Berkshire Book House - more festive by throwing a party that day to encourage parents and thier kids to stop by to grab their backpack and have fun while doing so.

Way to Care #2: Eat and Shop.

Businesses can sign up as an “We Care” partner and agree to make a direct donation of $250 to Berkshire United Way. Neighbors can shop or dine at participating partners knowing that they’re making literacy a priority. Learn more about becoming an "We Care" partner. 

Way to Care #3:  Celebrate at the After Party at Hancock Shaker Village. 

Be a Mover and Shaker and commit to buying two tickets and selling two more!  Get all your friends to come and have a blast at the dance party, all while helping Berkshire United Way raise money for early childhood literacy in the Berkshires. 

Stay tuned for more information! Contact Jonah Sykes at 413-442-6948 ext. 12 with any questions about participating in this great event.


Thank you to our leading corporate investors:


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