School readiness book teaches young readers about colors and shapes with hints of self-worth and diversity

Author Tom Wartowski reads You are like an Acorn

Local author Tom Wartowski reads his book, You are like an Acorn, to pre-k students at City of Rockford Head Start Fairgrounds site.

(Rockford, IL - 10/06/2016) – This month, over 4,000 pre-k students will receive You are like an Acorn / Tú eres como una bellota as part of October's book title for Success By 6® Page Turner Reading Program. The book is part of United Way's school readiness focus that helps children birth to age 6 learn, grow, and enter kindergarten ready to succeed. Local author Tom Wartowski along with illustrator Jill Calvagna introduced their book to pre-k students at the City of Rockford Head Start Fairgrounds site.

Children will enjoy reading You are like an Acorn / Tú eres como una bellota with its whimsical descriptions of shapes and colors. But buried among the cute acorns are important messages of self-worth and diversity.

Each month during the school year, pre-k children receive their very own age-appropriate book selected by early childhood specialists. Children begin to build their personal libraries and parents receive activities on each book to engage their young child in learning at home. Teachers also incorporate curriculum developed around each book title into their classroom. Books and materials are provided for English- and Spanish-speaking families.

The Page Turner Reading Program, in partnership with City of Rockford Head Start, The Diocese of Rockford, Harlem School District #122, Kreative K, Montessori and Rockford Public Schools District #205, assists pre-school teachers in developing pre-literacy skills essential for kindergarten readiness. Since the majority of brain development occurs between birth and age five, quality early learning and care programs have a profound impact on lifelong success and support cognitive, social and emotional development.

United Way's Success By 6 initiative is supported through individual and corporate contributions to United Way's Community Impact Fund, including Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, Exelon, Goodwill of Northern Illinois, Northwestern Illinois Building & Construction Trades Council, Rockford United Labor, and Smith Charitable Foundation.

For more information on United Way's Success By 6® Page Turner Reading Program or its work in school readiness, contact Paul Nolley, community impact manager, by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 815-968-5400.


United Way of Rock River Valley

United Way of Rock River Valley fights for the health, education and financial stability for every person in every neighborhood. United Way recruits people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change.