United Way invests in programs that help children and youth achieve their potential through educational readiness.
Linda and Joe are raising their two young grandsons. Through Head Start, they learned about the UWWC funded, community-based Learning Parties for parents. After attending their first party, Joe said, “I really didn’t think
this was for us, but we came anyway. We loved it! We’ll definitely be back.” At the end of the four week program, the grandparents put their learning to use and continue helping the boys learn shapes, counting and other skills to help them prepare for kindergarten.
Learning Parties are interactive, hands-on, parent/child “parties” that promote young children’s development of school readiness skills. Based on the belief that parents are their child’s first teacher, Learning Parties teach parents how to make everyday moments learning moments through playing, singing, talking, reading, and engaging in fun activities.
United Way invests in programs that provide access to basic needs.
Food insecurity is a daily occurrence for countless numbers of our community’s youth. Many students know with certainty they will have a meal at breakfast and lunch every day they attend school. But the weekend looms long for these kids and their families. Going without food each weekend leaves them at a disadvantage when they return to school each Monday. Even after the school breakfast, they may still be hungry from lack of proper nutrition over the weekend making them more likely to fall behind in class. One UWWC funded program, Micah’s Backpack provides food in a backpack directly to the children who have been identified by their families, teachers, counselors and others as children who very possibly will not get a decent meal when not attending school on weekends.
Elementary children receiving the backpacks are grateful and they recognize the benefits of the program for themselves and their parents:
“It saves mom some money when she goes to the grocery store so she doesn’t have to buy as much.”“It’s pretty awesome how they actually give you food, because at my house you don’t get good kind of stuff.”“I like that it helps me get healthy.”“I am so grateful for the food it has gotten us through our very hard times.”