53% of children start school without the literacy, social, and emotional skills they need to succeed. 

Without these skills, it is harder for them to stay in school and graduate. Empower children through United Way to have more stable, rewarding futures, and create a brighter future for their children and grandchildren.  

In order to ensure that youth will become engaged and productive citizens, United Way focuses on the strategies that local education experts say are the keys to long-term student success:

The first strategy is readying children for kindergarten. For example, United Way partners with childcare centers to increase access to high-quality childcare for struggling working families. United Way brought Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to Delaware County to increase access to books and words from birth to age five. Nearly 1,000 children benefit from this program.

As our community’s sponsor for the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, United Way is supporting children throughout the continuum of their school career by ensuring kiddos are reading at grade level. Volunteer mentors work with small groups of students to make sure they are reading with understanding and having fun while doing so!

Your donations transform lives.

Every year, an anonymous donor gives a generous gift that allows the children in Longfellow Elementary School’s Reading Club to go to Books-A-Million and build their personal library. It’s near the end of the school year, and the donor hopes that providing children with their own books will keep them reading throughout summer break.

Joey entered Apple Tree Child Development Center as a young boy struggling to participate. Due to a lack of social and emotional developments, he was left unable to communicate and engage with his peers. He faced speech delays that made him hard to understand. This was his first time in group child care and he did not know how to integrate into a classroom.

Peyton Hensley entered MP3 as an extremely quiet, respectful young girl. Together, the MP3 staff and Peyton’s guardians set goals for Peyton to make advancements in her academic skills. Little did they know, she would accomplish her academic goals and flourish socially! Peyton embraced MP3’s commitment to community and helped her peers do the same.

Find out why some children do poorly in school and what United Way of Delaware County donors can do to help.