United Way and its partners focus on results during critical stages of a child's development. We invest in programs that improve academics, encourage youth development that are intervention-based, addressing issues early. This strategy will give children the best chance for successful futures.
Targeted Issue: Children prepared to succeed in early learning
Nearly 50% of our children enter kindergarten not fully prepared with the skills necessary to succeed in school. Kids that start behind face significant hurdles to academic achievement and often never catch up.
On average, 43% of third graders in our region are not reading proficiently at a third grade level.
Strengthen existing early care and education options ensuring that children have the quality of care to prepare them for success in school and beyond.
Promote reading and literacy through the Imagination Library Program.
Promote early assessment of children pre-K.
Increase the number of children enrolled in the Imagination Library program by 15% by the end of 2016.
Increase the availability of quality child care options in the region and increase opportunities for local financially accessible child care provider trainings (i.e. Parent Aware Accreditation).
Increase the number of children being assessed at an earlier age pre-K.
Tracking the reading scores of third graders with a goal of 100% reading at the third grade level in third grade. Use scores from school sponsored reading tests.
Targeted Issue: Strengthen and increase learning and youth development efforts
At-risk youth without positive role models in their life are likely to have more absences from school, poor academic performance, more incidents of violence against others, and more drug and alcohol use.
Lack of parent involvement sets children back in their early years and negatively impacts child’s grades and behavior at school. Parents/guardians are in need of educational programs, resources and avenues to engage with their children.
Lack of local volunteer mentors and tutors to meet the needs of at-risk youth.
Invest in programs that increase academic success for at risk youth.
Invest in programs that engage youth in positive behavior with strong adult role models, peer programming and mentoring activities.
Invest in educational programs that provide parents/guardians with opportunities to improve their parenting skills.
Improve academic achievement by providing access to tutoring and education support services.
Children participating in mentoring programs will demonstrate positive and healthy relationships.
Increase in the number of parents participating in educational programs to improve their parenting skills.
Increase the number of volunteer mentors/tutors in all programs.
Targeted Issue: Youth substance abuse and mental health issues
Substance abuse and mental health issues prevent youth from succeeding in life.
Invest in programs that focus on prevention and provide substance abuse counseling for youth.
Reduce the number of youth/children involved in substance abuse.
Increase early intervention opportunities for youth/children experiencing a mental health crisis.
How You Can Help
To reach our goal, we need your help. The strategies proven to work are those that connect communities to their schools: parent involvement; literacy volunteers in the classroom; mentors for disadvantaged students; business leaders engaged in early childhood advocacy. Volunteer to help.