By: Juli Metzger—
Muncie, IN—United Way Campaign co-chair Liz Ludwick authored a book in 2018 that pays tribute to her employer, Muncie Power Products, which has been in Muncie more than 80 years and employs more than 400 nationwide. “Little Trucks That Can” is illustrated by Michelle L.R. Davis, also an employee of Muncie Power Products. The book was distributed to all kindergartners in Muncie Community Schools last year. To conquer generational poverty, United Way of Delaware and Henry Counties has adopted the bold goal that by 2024 all third graders will be reading at grade level – the single greatest indicator of a child’s success in school and life. Campaign contributions are strategically invested in local programs to help put children on a pathway out of poverty through better educational outcomes.
The following is an interview with Liz about the book and how United Way addresses reading levels in Muncie.
Q: Why did you write a children’s book?
A: I wish it were a more glamorous story but I’m in charge of our company’s leadership holiday dinner and last year, we held the event at Carnegie Library in downtown Muncie. We always have a parting gift. When you go to the library, what are you going to take home? You’re going to take home a book. We also shared it with all our employees so they could share what we do with their children and grandchildren.
Q: Why did Muncie Power Products want a book on the company?
A: Muncie Power Products has a rich heritage in Muncie. In fact, we have outings that we call the “Magical Muncie History Tour,” and every month the leadership group goes to different place in Muncie to learn about the history of the location and its connection to Muncie. We really wanted something our employees could share with children and grandchildren.
Q: How did it get into the hands of Muncie children?
A: Muncie Community Schools heard about it and reached out to us to see if were open to providing our children’s book to the kindergarten children. It’s a fun little thing. The book explains how the parts that make garbage trucks, dump trucks, and snow plows run come from Muncie Power Products.
Q: What have you learned from the experience?
A: It’s been proven that children who read move from learning to read to reading to learn. Children who are not at grade-level by the time they reach the third grade are at greater risk of falling behind in life. Reading and learning develops vocabulary. That’s impressed me. United Way is putting books in the hands of children over the summertime, when they are at risk of losing ground. United Way makes a difference every day by being thoughtful and strategic about where they put our community’s resources.
About United Way of Delaware and Henry Counties
United Way of Delaware and Henry Counties focuses resources on education, health, and financial stability. The non-profit fights to create lasting change in community conditions. With its bold goal to reach grade-level reading by 2024, United Way works to help children read at or above grade level by the end of their third-grade year. Learn more at invitedtoliveunited.org.