WE LIVE UNITED by helping young students achieve in school while helping their parents maintain stability. Quality after-school care is difficult to afford for families living at or near poverty. For their children, the hours after school are often filled with unstructured and inconsistent care. Parents regularly have to leave work early to care for their children, lessening their paycheck and threatening their employment. Elementary students without proper after-school care are at risk of falling behind academically. Our support of the Lily Mission Center’s After School Program provides a quality learning experience, physical fitness and good nutrition to every child enrolled every day after school. Instead of worry and guilt, their parents have comfort knowing their children are in a safe and caring environment that they can afford. Here is an example of the IMPACT that happens in our community every day.
In October, a mother came in crying because she was going to have to quit her job in order to ensure that her child was not “getting left behind in school.” The Director of the After School Program helped the mom obtain an Individualized Education Program for her student and helped in understanding and navigating the special education system and psychologist assessment. The mom reports that, due to this assistance, she was able to keep her full-time job and rationally think of a solution. The mother once told the Director, “You have no idea how much this helps me. Now that I do not have to pay for child care after school, I was able to save money to buy a car to get back and forth to work.” Due to the special assistance that her daughter now receives during and after school, her confidence is higher when it comes to completing her school work.
Nearly every child in this program is showing improvement in their reading and math skills and 80% of parent’s report this program has contributed to them maintaining their employment. By supporting United Way of Jackson County, you are removing obstacles that prevent parents from working and students succeeding.