United Way works to end America’s education crisis
Education is the cornerstone of individual and community success. But with more than 1.2 million children dropping out each year, America faces an education crisis. The cost? More than $312 billion in lost wages, taxes and productivity over their lifetimes.1 These trends are reversible, but only when communities and public, private and nonprofit sectors work together.
In 2008, United Way launched a 10-year initiative to cut the number of high school dropouts in half by 2018. It’s an ambitious goal, but by utilizing our core strengths — a national network, committed partners and public engagement capacity — we can achieve it.
We can’t focus on high school alone. High school dropouts are 12 years in the making, usually starting early childhood education behind schedule. United Way's model focuses on supportive communities, effective schools and strong families — strategies and approaches rooted in research. Tackling the education challenge requires reframing education on a birth to 21 continuum.
What We're Doing
We understand that learning doesn't just happen at school. We are committed to our youth through funding programs such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Companions for Children, who provide mentoring programs for children, and YMCA youth programs.
In order to learn, kids need safe and healthy environments. That's why we're also committed to to programs like Path ND, Inc. who are comitted to the safety, well being, and permanency for children, Northern Plains Children's Advocacy Center who provide assistance to children and families who have been victims of child abuse, and the Village Family Service Center which provides structured observation between parents and their children when supported visitation is required. The Foster Grandparent program puts seniors in contact with youth at schools, serving as mentors and tutors.
The Souris Valley United Way Youth Board involves our area youth in the distribution and effective use of United Way dollars for the provision of services to meet the needs of youth in our area.
But it's not just kids who can learn or who need help. We are also proud to support the Minot Literacy Volunteers who are committed to providing free resources and education for adults working to acquire and improve their reading, comprehension, and writing skills.
Dolly Parton Imagination Library
The Souris Valley United Way wants to make sure kids come to school excited and ready to learn. By partnering with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, the SVUW is working to make sure kids 0 - 5 in our community receive a new book each month, ending with one to send them off to school. Research has shown that reading to kids and early literacy are important indicators for future success. Join us in our efforts and learn more.
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.