Portage County – On April 30th United Way and Portage Learning Center’s Head Start joined forces to expand United Way’s Reading Role Models program.  Local volunteers from AMETEK, Kent State University and Smithers-Oasis spent time with 16 Head Start classes and more than 250 students across Portage County to help them strengthen their language and literacy skills.  United Way President & CEO Brian Duchon said “The Head Start Program is an important program for children from low-income families.  These children are at greater risk of falling behind in school so the Reading Role Models program was a natural fit aimed at improving these kids reading skills and ensuring that these kids enter kindergarten with the skills they need to succeed.”  Reading Role Models are community and corporate volunteers who participate in regularly scheduled reading days at early learning centers, community centers and schools across Portage County.  For more information or to sign up to be a Reading Role Model please visit