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.1 These trends are reversible, but only when communities and public, private and nonprofit sectors work together.
In 2008, United Way launched a 10-year initiative to cut the number of high school dropouts in half by 2018. It’s an ambitious goal, but by utilizing our core strengths — a national network, committed partners and public engagement capacity — we can achieve it.
We can’t focus on high school alone. High school dropouts are 12 years in the making, usually starting early childhood education behind schedule. United Way's model focuses on supportive communities, effective schools and strong families — strategies and approaches rooted in research. Tackling the education challenge requires reframing education on a birth to 21 continuum.
Our Focus Areas
How You Can Help
To reach our goal, we need your help. The strategies proven to work are those that connect communities to their schools: parent involvement; literacy volunteers in the classroom; mentors for disadvantaged students; business leaders engaged in early childhood advocacy. Volunteer to help.
1Figure according to Communities in Schools, one of America’s leading drop-out prevention partnerships.
Tell Your Friends about KIDS COUNT
Circulate this KIDS COUNT News Alert and suggest our Facebook page and Twitter account to co-workers and friends interested in receiving information on child well-being in the United States.
KIDS COUNT Special Report on Reading Proficiency
Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a critical benchmark in a child’s educational development. Millions of American children reach fourth grade without learning to read proficiently. On May 18th, 2010 the Annie E. Casey Foundation released a KIDS COUNT Special Report, Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters. Read about why reading matters and what we can do to raise the bar and close the gap for all children in the new KIDS COUNT Special Report. To access full report, press release and national and state profile pages click here.
KIDS COUNT Data Center Updates
The KIDS COUNT Data Center has been updated to include early reading related data from the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH). The following are highlights of recently updated indicators. Visit the Data Center to access the new data.
Access the Early Reading Profile for Your State and Nation
You can access early reading profiles for the nation and the 50 states on the Data Center. These profiles contain data for indicators included in the special report on reading proficiency. You can access profiles, rank data, create maps and charts on the KIDS COUNT Data Center.