Education

We want all Quad Cities youth to be prepared for work and life. Kindergarten isn’t what it used to be, and children need many skills before they even walk into school for the first time. In the Quad Cities, 1 in 4 low-income Quad Cities children are not ready for kindergarten. And, third grade is an important indicator of success for students. Yet, in the Quad Cities 35% of third graders are not reading at grade level. These are indicators that led to United Way’s work in education.


Students enter school ready to learn.

  • Children birth to age 5 are mailed free Imagination Library books monthly.
  • Born Learning is focused on the fact that a child’s first and best teacher is a parent.
  • Local kindergarten teachers put together a list of 10 Kindergarten Readiness skills children need to know before entering kindergarten.
  • United Way funds our partners’ work in teaching parenting skills, providing resources for parents to improve a child’s social-emotional skills, and removing barriers to quality early learning.


Students perform at grade level and remain in school.

  • Vello online tutoring provides companies the opportunity to have employees volunteer at their desk, reading with children 30 minutes a week.
  • Reading for Tomorrow gives students the opportunity to read with volunteers for 30 minutes every week.
  • Operation READ is a volunteer-based reading program at afterschool programs and preschool locations.
  • Our partners work to reduce school absences and summer learning loss, enhance learning, discourage high-risk activities, and promote successful transitions.


Graduate from high school college or career-ready.

  • Our partners provide support for at-risk students, provide life skills, and offer opportunities for options after graduation.
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United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in the Quad Cities.