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.
2 out of every 10 children enter 1st grade without the skills ready for learning and educational success.
1 out of 4 youth do not graduate high school on time.
Anderson County teen pregnancy rates are significantly higher than the State and Nation.
United Way of Anderson County has set the following goals in the area of Education in our community.
- Early learning is a priority in the home before entering into kindegarten.
- Children are ready to learn and succeed once they enter into the educational system.
- Fewer teen pregancies among our youth; encourage good decision making for life.
- Youth graduating from school on time and ready to be productive citizens in society.
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.
Dollars raised through the United Way are invested in community projects and local non profit programs that:
Increase the number of children who enter first grade with skills ready for success.
Offer youth development and leadership opportunities.
Prevent teen pregnancy.
Increase high school graduation rates.
Uniting for Impact - Sucess
Teen Pregnancy Prevention – Over the past 8 years, community partners in School District 3 and 4 have joined together with United Way to develop and implement shared strategies to decrease teen pregnancy in Anderson County. Early results haves shown declining teen pregnancy rates. In School District 3 alone, teen pregnancies have dropped from an average of 16 pregnancies per year in 2004-2006 to an average of 3 pregnancies per year from 2007-2012. Efforts continue with a goal of zero teen pregnancies.
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.