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United Way, Praxair Celebrate Volunteer Service At Danbury School

Kehinde Akinyemi was one of the Praxair volunteers who recently assembling literacy kits to benefit first-grade students of Park Avenue School. Photo Credit: contributed
Vanessa Abrahams-John, director of Global Diversity and Inclusion from Praxair, talks with first-grade students at Park Avenue School about the meaning of service, in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Photo Credit: contributed
Pictured from left to right: Patty Simcoe, first-grade teacher at Park Avenue School; Vanessa Abrahams-John, director of Global Diversity and Inclusion from Praxair; and David Krafick, principal of Park Avenue School. Photo Credit: contributed

DANBURY, Conn. -- The Volunteer Center of United Way of Western Connecticut announced its partnership with Praxair to orchestrate an in-house volunteer activity to celebrate the meaning of service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, on Monday, Jan. 18.

Numerous Praxair employees assembled 130 literacy kits, to benefit first-grade students of Park Avenue School in Danbury -- giving back to the local community and benefiting the lives of children in need. The literacy kits included an age-appropriate MLK book and activities with a focus on Black History Month designed to make reading interactive and enjoyable for young children.

Praxair has expanded this activity across their other major U.S. locations, as well, including Houston, Burr Ridge and Tonawanda.

"Praxair has a strong culture of diversity and inclusion and we are proud to work with United Way to support Dr. King’s legacy of equality and justice for all in our communities," said Vanessa Abrahams-John, Praxair director of Global Diversity and Inclusion.

Park Avenue is a neighborhood elementary school that serves a number of low-income and minority students. United Way has identified this school for its Strong Start Neighborhood kindergarten readiness initiative, which aims to prepare all children in the Park Avenue School neighborhood for success in school, and to engage parents and caregivers in the life of the Park Avenue School community.

"As education was of great importance to Dr. King, we are pleased to partner with Praxair on this service project which supports literacy and benefits the Park Avenue School," said Kim Morgan, chief executive officer of United Way of Western Connecticut.

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