Focus Area: Education
United Way believes that everyone can play a role in ensuring that children grow up to be productive citizens and members of our community. This begins with a good education that is the foundation for a child's success in work and life, along with providing supportive programming that helps youth develop necessary skills for their futures. To meet this goal, key issues addressed by UWBC and its supported programs in this focus area include early care and school readiness, school success and positive youth development. United Way works toward this goal by funding programs at agency partners, as well as grants and collaborative partnerships. Funded programs are listed in the graphic below.
Community Initiatives and Collaborations:
- Ready.Set.READ!: RSR is a collaboration among United Way of Berks County, the education and business communities and community organizations that seek to improve reading proficiency in students by the end of third grade. The collective work focuses on four key strategies: implement school-readiness activities for pre-school children to support language and per-literacy development in young children, connect tutors with early grade students needing supplemental instruction, engage parents to promote literacy, and mobilize the community around this work. To learn more, visit readysetreadberks.org.
- Summer Learning Coalition: As part of the Ready.Set.READ! initiative, UWBC convened a group of county stakeholders to determine how they might work together to improve reading outcomes for children and youth and address the problem of summer learning loss.
- Reading Public Library Family Literacy Programming: UWBC provided the Reading Public Library with a $25,000 investment to support Family Literacy programming at their multiple branches, which included supporting a Family Literacy Outreach librarian, a children's specialist who visited community partners at their sites.
- Oakbrook Community Outreach: UWBC has convened a group of stakeholders to address needs and empower residents in the Oakbrook community. These efforts include a Summer Reading program conducted in partnership with Berks Community Health Center, Customers Bank, Reading Housing Authority and the Reading School District. To learn more about our efforts in Oakbrook, visit Oakbrook Collective Impact Council.
*United Way Agency Partner