United Way

Ensuring A Stable Tomorrow By Investing In Our Youth Today

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We believe we can eliminate poverty in our community, in part, by preparing struggling students to succeed in school.


Our elementary aged students have a greater chance of graduating high school if they are reading at grade level by the 4th grade. Your support makes it possible for United Way of Jackson County to give students the tools they need to succeed. UWJC’s Energizing Education pairs students who are falling behind with trained reading mentors. These mentors work on reading skills with these students twice a week. Chelsea is a JPS student who now has the tools she needs to be successful in school.

As a 2nd grader, Chelsea was disengaged, easily distracted and struggling in school. Her teacher recommended her for Energizing Education. It was difficult at first. Chelsea’s mentor was patient and encouraging. They would often stop and work on words or discusses pages so she could better understand them. Most days Chelsea’s mentor had to encourage her to finish the book. As time went on, it became less of a struggle, and she looked forward to the time with her mentor each week. She finished books and could retell key parts with ease. Her confidence grew each time she advanced a reading level. Over the course of five months, Chelsea advanced 13 reading levels. She ended up above her grade level and tested out of the program. Her teacher and her mentor were very proud of her. Most importantly, Chelsea was proud of herself and her accomplishments.

Nearly every child in Energizing Education shows improvement in reading; the average margin is 6.82 reading levels. Children who are reading at grade level by the 4th grade are more likely to graduate and go on to post-high education and a rewarding career. These students who were once considered to be “at-risk” are now more likely to succeed and less likely to become a part of the persistent, multi-generational poverty cycle that has swallowed up so many in our community. Your support means Chelsea and other students like her are getting the tools they need to be on their pathway to success and stability.

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