Fight for Childhood Success
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 to learn and succeed.
We work to support children’s success 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.
Our childhood success strategies include:
STUFF THE BUS
The annual Stuff the Bus campaign – led by United Way of Williamson County’s Patricia Hart Society (PHS) in collaboration with corporate and community partners – provides students with backpacks filled with grade-appropriate school supplies donated by individuals, companies, and organizations. Each year, PHS gathers school supplies to ensure that families in need have the opportunity to receive essential school items.
Stuff the Bus wrapped up on June 27, 2019, and PHS is truly appreciative and humbled by the amazing community support. From forklifts to folding tables, supporters provided the necessary resources and assistance to stuff and distribute 3,100 backpacks during the Big Backpack Giveaway.
RAISE YOUR HAND TUTORING
The Raise Your Hand (RYH) Tutoring program is an education initiative that recruits volunteer tutors for students performing below the state standard. We know that kids who read proficiently by third grade are more likely to graduate high school. Yet, only 35% of third-grade students in Tennessee are proficient (or better) in reading.
Tutors work in the classroom after school helping teachers with 1st through 4th grade students who are struggling with reading and math. During the 2018-2019 school year, tutors helped 442 students at 12 elementary schools. As a result of volunteers’ passion and assistance, 96% of students improved in reading and 100% boosted their math skills.
Volunteers share their experiences in this video.
United Way partners with local organizations that help children experience supportive early learning environments and access high-quality Pre-K programs. These organizations also provide parents and families with the tools to support their child’s early learning and development.
Our childhood success partners include:
- ARC of Williamson County
- Boys and Girls Club of Middle Tennessee
- Community Childcare Center
- FiftyForward (Friends Learning in Pairs)
You can support a child’s achievements by volunteering with United Way. Click here to learn more about becoming a volunteer tutor.