UNITED WE WIN by believing every child in our community should have the opportunity to succeed in school and helping those who are struggling to reach their full potential.
United Way of Jackson County knows that when students are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade, they are more likely to struggle academically, fall behind in their studies, and possibly not finish high school. We want all of our children to have the opportunity to be college- or career-ready. A few years ago, United Way of Jackson County, in partnership with Cradle 2 Career, created Energizing Education. EE puts trained adult volunteers in schools to provide one-on-one reading support to students in kindergarten through third grade. Additionally, Energizing Education hosts Family Involvement Nights at each school four months out of the school year. During these events, parents receive resources to encourage reading at home. Students who were falling behind are now catching up, and parents are becoming more involved with their education. This story exemplifies the power and impact of this program.
At one of our recent events, a parent of one EE student at Cascades Elementary came up to talk to an EE staff person. The parent shared how grateful he was to the program and everyone who has helped his daughter. Now in the 2nd grade, his daughter was in the program during the previous year because she was struggling. She had a difficult time recognizing words and understanding the meaning of the stories she was reading. With the help of her mentor, she had made a lot of progress. The father said that he loves reading with his daughter and does whatever he can to help her become a better reader. He would make a conscious effort every day to read books that were sent home from school with her and even read books from their own home library. Both reading and comprehension now come much easier to her, and he often finds her using strategies that her mentor showed her when she comes to words she doesn’t recognize.
This program is having a lasting impact on the lives of our children, with 94% of EE students showing an improvement with their reading. Your support is preparing young children for success and stability.