United Way works to end America’s education crisis
Education is the cornerstone of individual and community success. But with more than 1.2 million children dropping out each year, America faces an education crisis. The cost? More than $312 billion in lost wages, taxes and productivity over their lifetimes. These trends are reversible, but only when communities and public, private and nonprofit sectors work together.
In 2010, the average high school graduation rate across America reached 78 percent, the highest level in over 30 years. Behind this nationwide surge are nearly 1,200 United Ways transforming their communities and raising the bar for an entire generation of students.
Our goal is to reach a graduation rate of 87 percent by 2018. We focus on cradle-to-career education strategies that provide a firm foundation at an early age and continue to develop our children into successful adults who can contribute to their communities.
Our local United Way addresses EDUCATION through the following programs:
Stuff The Bus
When students do not have the required supplies for learning, they are more likely to fall behind.
- In 2016, we provided bookbags stuffed with all required school supplies to 1,700 children in our community.
- Funds for this program were provided by a grant awarded by Greenwood County Community Foundation, Ascend, Publix, MedTronic and community donations.
- 13 local companies, businesses, and civic organizations provided an abundance of supplies donated by their employees and members.
- 75 Volunteers came together to help stuff over a thousand bookbags with school supplies.
Every day activities are opportunities for young children to learn. From a visit to the grocery store, to the family dinner table, to a ride in the car or city bus, every day moments can be turned into learning moments.
- Born Learning Upstate SC is a community engagement campaign that gives parents and caregivers all the tools they need to provide these essential early learning experiences.
- Each Born Learning Trail captures 10 fun outdoor games on engaging signs to help parents and caregivers create learning opportunities for young children.
- In 2013, our local United Way installed three born learning trails in Greenwood and Abbeville Counties. Trails are located at:
Emma Gaskin Magnolia Park West Cambridge Park Pete Smith Athletic Complex
244 Magnolia Avenue 451 Grove Street 62 Pete Smith Complex Road
Greenwood, SC 29646 Greenwood, SC 29646 Abbeville, SC 29620
Burton Center Sensory Park Ninety Six Town Park Magnolia Park
2605 HWY 72/221E 85 Saluda Street Mill Road & East Main Street
Greenwood, SC 29649 Ninety Six, SC 29666 Wareshoals, SC 29693
For more information or to find other Born Learning Trails in the Upstate, visit http://www.bornlearningupstatesc.org/
Removing the barrier of hunger allows the child to successfully continue on the educational journey of learning.
- During the 2014-2015 school year, we were able to serve 150 children in District 50, Ware Shoals, and Ninety Six elementary schools with weekend food packs. Funds are being raised to sustain this number for the 2016-2017 school year.
- Children at risk of hunger are provided with food to bridge the gap between Friday school lunch and Monday school breakfast.
- Teachers and counselors identify the children at risk of not having an adequate supply of food during the weekends.
- On Fridays, the child's backpack is discreetly stocked with nutritious, child-friendly, easy to prepare food.
- Weekend food packs cost $5 per pack, $80 per semester and $160 per school year to feed just one child.