United Way of San Diego County Partners with Traveling Stories for ‘Walk for Literacy’


Media Contacts: Scatena Daniels
Ann Marie Price
Geneva Gámez  

NOTE TO EDITOR: https://bit.ly/3q4HGrP 

Photos courtesy of Traveling Stories.

United Way of San Diego County Partners with Traveling Stories for ‘Walk for Literacy’

Nonprofits encourage attendees to dress up as their favorite book characters as they walk in support of literacy programs for local children

San Diego – August 31, 2022 – United Way of San Diego County (UWSD), in partnership with Traveling Stories, is excited to take San Diego families on a colorful adventure where their favorite stories will be shared during a special “Walk for Literacy” on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Chollas Lake Park (6350 College Grove Drive); all to support literacy programs for local children.

Families and individuals in attendance are encouraged to dress as their favorite book characters to take part in a costume contest for the chance to win a prize. Each walk participant will receive an event t-shirt, and each child in attendance will take home a free book. Children will also enjoy fun games and activities in the Kids Zone. Additionally, free coffee, bagels, and donuts will be available, and attendees will also have an opportunity to browse reading and book-related businesses and resources in the Vendor Village.

Help San Diego students build confidence and a love for reading

In the U.S., 82% of children in low-income families read below grade level. Studies also show that children who don’t read proficiently by fourth grade are up to 15 times more likely not to complete high school, leaving them with an only 10% margin of being eligible for American jobs. Founded in 2010, Traveling Stories empowers children to achieve their dreams by helping them fall in love with reading by the 4th grade. The organization matches students in 1st-3rd grade with trained reading mentors for weekly, one-on-one reading sessions via Zoom. Students who participate grow their reading level, build confidence, and spend more time reading for fun.

In addition, UWSD supports local students to ensure they are adequately prepared for academic success. “Our focus on low-income communities helps foster an inclusive environment through partnerships that lift up families and children,” says Nancy L. Sasaki, President and CEO, United Way of San Diego County. “We’ve seen that by providing children with the tools they need, like easy access to books and mentorships, they can excel academically. Through our partnership with Traveling Stories, we are able to continue giving San Diego students an equal opportunity to succeed,” says Sasaki.

“Every child has the capacity to succeed, but many lack the support they need to overcome the obstacles in their way,” says Emily Moberly, Founder and CEO of Traveling Stories. “Helping students become strong readers is one of the most powerful ways we can set them up for success, and the Walk for Literacy is a fun way for all of San Diego to support that goal!”

“Walk for Literacy” is sponsored by First Five San Diego, Union Bank, GEICO Philanthropic Foundation, and the San Diego Council on Literacy. Event partners include Words Alive, the City Heights/Weingart Library, Creators Assemble, the San Diego Sockers, author Marcia Berneger, Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, Joyride Bookshop, Coffee Cycle, the Athlete Academy, Unplug Collaborative, Logan Heights CDC, and SDCCU.

Ways to support

There are many ways to participate in this year’s “Walk for Literacy”:

  • Walker: Participate in the “Walk for Literacy” and receive an event t-shirt. Bookworm: Participate virtually from home or from wherever you log in.
  • Donate: Can’t make the walk, but would still like to contribute to the cause? Make a monetary donation here.
  • Volunteer: Lend a hand at one of the many activities happening during the “Walk for Literacy.” Sign up here.

However you would like to participate, sign up here to get involved. All registration fees and monetary donations will support Traveling Stories and provide one-on-one reading support for children. 


For more than 100 years, United Way of San Diego County has aligned with partners to address inequities in the region and help underserved communities. United Way’s specialty lies in identifying sustainable, long-term goals and achieving them through leveraging data and partners’ expertise to better understand root causes and implement impactful solutions.

United Way’s work, in partnership with others, uses shared goals, innovation, and proven practices to transform the lives of children, young adults, and families in the San Diego region. United Way focuses on educational milestones, such as kindergarten readiness, third-grade literacy, high school preparation, and college and career pathways. Learn more and get involved by visiting uwsd.orgFacebookTwitter, or by calling (858) 492-2000. 


Traveling Stories empowers children to achieve their dreams through one-on-one literacy support and mentorship. 

Since our founding in 2010, Traveling Stories has impacted more than 7,000 students in San Diego, Calif. Traditionally, we’ve provided services in-person, but due to COVID-19, we pivoted to an online model in 2020. Our new Virtual StoryTent (VST) matches students in 1st-3rd grade with trained reading mentors for weekly, one-on-one reading sessions via Zoom. We’re serving 200+ children a year and growing!  Learn more by visiting travelingstories.org, Facebook, Instagram, or emailing !