United Way is fighting to ensure all children get a strong start and are given a solid foundation for success in school and life.
Research tells us that 90% of a child’s brain develops in the first five years of life. That’s why United Way starts early by fighting to increase the number of children who enter school ready. This includes ensuring children experience supportive early learning environments, have access to high-quality Pre-K programs, and parents and families have the tools to support their child’s early learning and development.
We also work to ensure children are successful in the early elementary grades, especially when it comes to reading at grade level. Early grade reading proficiency is an essential milestone for lifelong success. Research shows that children who read proficiently by third grade are more likely to graduate high school. Those benefits stack up over time: Students who graduate high school are better able to find jobs that pay a livable wage, live longer lives, stay out of the justice system and have children who also graduate on time.
Our Childhood Success Initiatives include: