Newton - For parents searching for a way to encourage their young children to read year-round — even on snow days — United Way of Northern New Jersey has released a free calendar that promotes literacy. The calendar, which features bright children’s artwork throughout, offers daily ideas for kids up to age 6 tied to reading, creating arts and crafts projects or taking part in an activity. “Winter weather is here and that means snow days and cabin fever,” said United Way of Northern New Jersey Education Impact Area Director Michelle Roers. “This calendar helps parents of young children incorporate literacy into each day in ways that are fun, engaging and creative.” The Family Learning Calendar is available online by going to www.UnitedWayNNJ.org and clicking on the “Family Calendar” box.The calendar features a word of the week that families can discuss as well as suggested activities to reinforce the words. Each week also offers age-appropriate book recommendations. During the week of February 17 for example, children will learn about the word “president” by reading books and making a Lincoln log cabin. “This calendar allows parents to start building strong reading habits,” Roers said. “Whether a child attends a preschool or childcare program or neither, it’s always a good idea for parents to read with their child and set a good example early on.” The calendar was created by United Way Success By 6, a coalition of community volunteers, child care center directors, parents and nonprofit agencies committed to ensuring that children enter kindergarten prepared for school and life. The coalition is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of early childhood development and advocating for public policies to improve young children’s lives.While the calendar is available online, ALICE and families in poverty may not have daily access to computers. United Way is seeking additional sponsors to print this year’s calendar, helping to expand its reach. Current sponsors include Advanced Group, Morristown Rotary Club, Ricoh USA and several individual donors. For more information about United Way Success By 6 or the calendar, email Michelle.Roers@UnitedWayNNJ.org or call 973.993.1160 x116.About United Way of Northern New JerseyUnited Way of Northern New Jersey is a nonprofit organization fighting to improve life for families and individuals in our five-county footprint who are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) or in poverty. We believe when those who are struggling to afford the basics can succeed, all communities win. By focusing on Education, Financial Stability, and Health, we are helping ALICE now and in the long term. We do this through our initiatives that fill gaps in services, community partnerships, public policy work, and volunteer efforts. United Way of Northern New Jersey serves Morris, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties as well as portions of suburban Essex County including the Caldwells, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Livingston, Millburn-Short Hills, Montclair, Roseland, and Verona. To learn more, call 973.993.1160 or visit www.UnitedWayNNJ.org.