UNITED WE WIN by providing the opportunity for students all across Jackson County to succeed in school. Your support increases the reading proficiency of struggling elementary students in our community. United Way’s Energizing Education Program pairs students who are behind in their reading with trained mentors. Last year, 140 mentors helped 177 students to gain more confidence and become better readers. This is one story of the hundreds of lives that have been touched through your support.
One of Energizing Education’s mentors is a coach in the community. He has been a mentor with EE for several years and this year was assigned a student to read with just like any other year. The difference this year is that his student started the year with some challenges. He wasn’t a bad kid, just a student who could use a little more guidance and a lot of one on one support. The easy thing to do would have been to assign this mentor a new student to work with, but he didn’t want to give up on him. After working with him for a couple months, there was already noticeable progress being made. At first when the student would enter the Literacy Lounge he would walk in head down and wouldn’t speak when you said hello to him. It also would be difficult to get him to read through just one book without talking and getting distracted. He now walks in the room calmly and says “Good morning” when spoken to and has read several books from cover to cover without being distracted. We are so lucky to have mentors like these who are patient and don’t give up on a student, who keep working with them not only on reading, but also on their character.
Students who are reading at the appropriate level by the third grade are less likely to fall behind in their studies and are more likely to achieve success in school. As a result of this program, 94% of the students enrolled showed considerable improvement in their reading level and 53% tested out of the program by the end of the school year.
By supporting United Way of Jackson County, you are preparing students to succeed in school, they have a greater chance of being college or career. You are ensuring a brighter future for our community.