Our goal is to align with Cradle2Career and ensure all Jackson County students meet state education requirements and graduate college- or career-ready. Special emphasis is placed on programs that promote early grade reading and math proficiency.

It matters because more than 1/3 of 4th graders tested struggle to read proficiently.  1 in 6 children who aren’t proficient readers in early grades do not graduate high school on time.


What We’re Doing – Supporting these programs prepare children for success in school. For example, United Way’s Energizing Education paired 154 mentors with 149 students in 7 schools.  As a result, 99% of students improved their reading proficiency, with an average advancement at 6.82 reading levels.


Site Based Mentoring – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jackson County
This is an in school, one-to-one mentoring program consisting of the Bigs In Schools Program and the Learn & Serve Teen Mentoring Classroom-to-Classroom Program. Students are paired with a caring mentor who focuses on creating social, academic, and emotional successes.  90.7% of the Bigs In Schools Students improve their reading proficiency.
Our IMPACT – In 2010, Rita, a somewhat quiet and very hard-working IT Network Analyst at Consumers Energy decided to make the commitment to become a Big Sister. Shania was…
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FIRST – Child Care Netork
Provides scholarships for low-income families giving low-income children the opportunity for high quality child care programs. The program includes in-depth case management to families, targeting areas identified by the parent(s).  100% of parents awarded FIRST scholarships for their children remained employed or in higher education programs.
Our IMPACT – Being awarded a Child Care Network scholarship for my son Kevin has helped me through very…
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Girl Scouts Outreach – Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan
Offers the opportunity for all girls to be a part of Girl Scouting programs. The program targets areas that are under-served with volunteer leaders, often being lower socioeconomic areas in the county. The program focuses on building character and skills needed for success in life.  92% of Girl Scout participants showed positive indicators of strong sense of self.
Our IMPACT – The Outreach Specialist notes that ‘one of the most exciting stories was…
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Attendance Connection – Jackson County ISD
A community partnership to thoroughly analyze student attendance data in hopes of creating county-wide protocols addressing absenteeism in elementary aged students.

After School Program – Lily Missions Center
After school programming that allows students to fulfill school requirements, increase state testing scores, and participate in life-building opportunities such as community service and physical activity in a safe environment.
Our IMPACT – Maria came to the Lily Missions Center in January, right after Christmas break. She had previously called United Way’s 2-1-1 and was referred to this United Way funded after-school Program.  She called because…
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Energizing Education – United Way of Jackson County
An early childhood literacy/mentoring program supervised by a literacy specialist and aiming to have all Jackson County students reading at or above grade level by 3rd grade.
Our IMPACTJalen and his mentor worked diligently twice a week for two years.  It was hard work, but Jalen was
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