Protests diminish sports’ power to unite Americans

Love of sports has traditionally been a uniting force in America. Favorite teams are made up of the best possible players from all races, backgrounds and classes. So are the fans. People with nothing in common but the love of their team have common ground to talk together.

No matter where I travel in the country, my ever-present Phillies cap sparks conversation. We talk about things uniquely Philadelphia when I’m visiting Florida or Texas or anywhere else in the country. And of course we cry together over the plight of our once great team.

But America’s sports love affair may come to an end. No longer a respite, like nearly everything else, it’s becoming just more politics.

Certainly the country is not perfect. But nothing will be solved by taking a knee and changing sports into just another platform for protest. Peeling off another layer of the glue that makes us a nation can never bring us together.

Dave Hunsberger

Mays Landing

Preschool reading support helps students succeed

A bedtime routine. A window to a new world. A way to build empathy.

Reading is all of these, but most importantly, it sets children up to succeed.

In fact, reading proficiency as early as third grade is the number one predictor of high school graduation. Research shows that students not reading at grade-level by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out — and six times more likely if a student lives in poverty.

Building strong foundations in early literacy can make all the difference. Through United Way’s Success By 6 initiative, Women United is working to ensure all local children have access to quality, age-appropriate books in their homes; equipping parents and caregivers to take advantage of everyday teaching moments and daily reading habits; and connecting volunteers with local preschools to make reading a classroom priority.

Support for the program can write the next chapter for little learners in the community and help ensure 90 percent of children in the region read at grade level by 2030.

Wendy Bartlett

Ventnor

Chair, United Way’s Women United

John Emge

Marlton

United Way of Greater Philadelphia

and Southern New Jersey

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