Sign Up for Free Animated Storybooks | United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

Kids Feeling Bored with Summer Learning? Sign Up for Free Animated Storybooks

United Way and Atmos Energy are giving away 80,000 free Vooks subscriptions to encourage early reading in North Texas

two kids under a fort reading a book via Vooks

Across Texas, the stress and disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused many students to disengage with school and with reading. Now is the perfect time for parents and educators to show kids that learning can be fun and can open new worlds. For our youngest readers, animated storybooks are one of the best ways to make reading feel new and exciting.

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and Atmos Energy have teamed up with Vooks, an animated storybook platform, to provide approximately 80,000 one-year Vooks subscriptions to Dallas-area families and teachers. Parents and educators can sign up for a one-year subscription to Vooks here.

Click below to see a Vooks storybook in action!

For United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, this is a chance to improve education—which along with income and health, is one of the building blocks of opportunity—for the youngest North Texans. The partnership also works toward our Aspire United 2030 education goal of increasing by 50% the number of North Texas students reading on grade level by third grade, which is a goal that has ripple effects throughout our entire region.


Abigail Sharp, vice president of early childhood initiatives at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, says early reading skills are foundational to the rest of a child’s life.

“Children who are exposed to early literacy opportunities, read both at home and in school, and are reading on grade level by third grade are more likely to graduate high school and ultimately be career, college and or military ready,” Sharp explains. “This results in a drastic positive impact on our community as a whole.”

According to research:

  • Children who start school ready to learn are more likely to read proficiently by third grade.
  • Students who read on grade level by third grade are five times more likely to graduate ready for success in college or career.
  • If a child goes on to graduate from college, he or she will earn an average of $36,000 more per year.
  • Adults who are financially stable are better equipped to cover the costs of health care for themselves and their families.

“Establishing a love of reading from an early age is fundamental to lifelong learning,” says Vooks co-founder and CEO Marshall Bex. “Literacy opens doors and opportunities. Children without access to books are at an educational disadvantage.”


Early reading offers a whole host of benefits beyond getting a child ready for school. It also boosts their vocabulary and grammar skills, fosters creativity, boosts their memory and focus (which is important in our technology-driven world!), and helps them develop critical thinking, analytical and writing skills. All these perks combine to build a child’s confidence. Meanwhile, they get to explore new people, places and ideas, which builds empathy and broadens their horizons.

Vooks animated storybooks offer the benefits of reading in a format children absolutely love. Each storybook tells a popular children’s story—such as “Wangari’s Tress of Peace,” “Allegro” and “Curious George”—but adds movement, sound and fun narration. Vooks is a great way to get kids to fall in love with reading, since they tell each story in a compelling, engaging way. Best of all, the Vooks app gives children access to hundreds of stories—perfect for kids who may not have many books at home or caregivers to read to them.

Teachers in particular are huge fans of Vooks because the storybooks are such powerful tools for promoting early reading. Each storybook includes a variety of teacher resources, including activity ideas, vocabulary cards and “Pause and Ponder” printable worksheets that educators can use to discuss key moments in the book. It’s no wonder that 77% of teachers say Vooks helps students comprehend stories even better than physical books, and 94% say Vooks helps their students get excited about reading.


Parents and guardians of children in Dallas and surrounding areas, as well as early education teachers who work in North Texas, can sign up for a one-year subscription to Vooks now. Subscriptions are free to anyone with kids ages 3-6.

A few things to note: Vooks storybooks are designed for children ages 3-6. The Vooks app works with smartphones and tablets, as well as Apple TV, Roku and Fire TV. You can also stream it via the web.

Daughter on shoulders of father Live United


Daughter on shoulders of father Live United

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is a community-based social change organization that puts opportunity in the hands of all North Texans. Working with our determined supporters, we lead the charge to improve education, income and health—the building blocks of opportunity. We invite all change-seekers in our community to Live United to achieve lasting results right here at home.

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This article was published on: Jul 23, 2021