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United Way’s innovative, 1:1 virtual volunteer reading program

Grade-level reading is a key leading indicator of a student’s likelihood of graduating from high school. 

Students unable to read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than those who are proficient readers. Vello helps children learn to read proficiently by fourth grade through weekly guided reading sessions while providing teachers, parents, and caregivers with easy-to-use literacy tools to support youth success.

Help provide a classroom with 24/7 access to a virtual library that students can access at home and give students the one-on-one guided reading support they need to help them improve their reading skills.

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Impact in Action

Every 1st – 3rd grade student in need has a team of United Way volunteers and a community of supporters invested in their success.

Vello connects passionate professionals to local students for instant guided reading using safe and simple screen sharing and audio. With computer and internet access, volunteers can complete their weekly 30-minute guided reading sessions from anywhere, making it easy to give back without leaving their workspace.


support from tutors designed to improve students’ reading skills and overall engagement in reading activities.


e-books are available 24/7 through Vello’s e-library for students and families to enjoy.


of teachers affirmed that Vello improved overall grade-level reading progress for their class.


of volunteers agreed or strongly agreed that Vello helped them make a positive impact on a child’s life.


Tutoring for the 21st Century

Take an active step toward supporting the reading success of a child in your community. Vello’s virtual platform provides an easy way for professionals to work volunteerism into their daily activities.

Recognized for its innovative improvement of education, Vello is eligible to receive contributions through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. To learn more about supporting United Way’s Early Learning initiatives with your Educational Improvement Tax Credits (EITC), contact .


Bring Vello to your workplace or school.

I learned so much from listening to the volunteer reading with my child. I read with her every day, but now I am going to ask more questions about the book while we are reading. Thanks to Vello, I feel like I can better
help her with reading at home.
- Vello Parent

Working Together

Through the funding of United Way’s Impact Fund we will distribute thousands of books, promote literacy resources, and connect families in need to programs designed to measurably and meaningfully reduce poverty in our region. In partnership with Read By 4th, the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Strategic Partnerships and Office of Early Education are working together to establish school partnerships with corporate partners and community members.

Community Partners

  • Global Citizen
  • Read by 4th
  • RSVP Volunteers
  • Office of Strategic Partnerships, School District of Philadelphia

It’s so great to connect with my volunteer coordinator after this lonely year of isolation. Connecting with my student is like opening a window and letting the fresh air and sunshine in. I am feeling useful and 
 engaged in my community. 

– Vello Volunteer, Philadelphia, PA