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
* Imagination Library- provides pre school children free books to help develop strong reading skills and the love of reading
* Books For Kids- puts books in the hands of elementary school students who would not otherwise have books.
United Way of Lapeer County has partnered up with agencies who's goals are aligned with our Education Priority.
- The Family Literacy Center Kindergarten Readiness Programs and Playgroups provide developmental activities for children which prepare participants to start school ready to learn.
- The Family Literacy Center provides a reading buddy program. Reading budies work one-on-one with students as well as in group sessions.
- Lapeer County Kids in New Directions (KIND)’s primary purpose is to provide prevention and early interventions in instances of emotional difficulties, social isolation, irresponsibility, delinquency, and violence.
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.
1Figure according to Communities in Schools, one of America’s leading drop-out prevention partnerships.