Helping students pursue their dreams…
Everyone wants this for people — we aren’t doing it on our own.
Together with our partners and supporters like you, that’s the future we are chasing: one where all Quad Cities residents, regardless of race or ZIP code, have the opportunity and access to develop their full potential. And it’s hard to think of anything as fundamental to unlocking a brighter future as education.
You might even say, “education is the key to life.”
That’s how Dr. Reginald Lawrence views things. Dr. Lawrence is the superintendent for Rock Island-Milan School District and a United Way Quad Cities board member.
“Students and a number of our families live in poverty — and it’s cyclical — which means that we have to help break the chain of poverty.”
“One way of doing that is, if we can give students the building blocks that they need early on in life, it gives them the confidence to make it through school and move forward, so that we all have the chance to be successful.”
We wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Lawrence. Education forms the foundation for a student’s entire life. It is opens doors, broadens horizons and enables children to thrive. That’s why United Way creates, leads and invests in initiatives that strengthen early education, enrich out-of-school time and provide strong pathways to success after high school.
One way that we support our youngest is though programs, partnerships and investments that focus on kindergarten-readiness, like our Born Learning Academies. These six-week workshops help parents to become their children’s first — and best — teachers. Powered by our Women United donor network, these academies also help parents support their children’s development during the crucial learning years before kindergarten.
Another initiative you might have heard about recently is Read United QC, which launched in February of this year.
The partnership with school districts across Scott and Rock Island counties is designed to match adult volunteers with students for 30 minutes a week to encourage critical thinking, comprehension and reading proficiency after more than a year of pandemic related learning disruption and limited in-person activities.
In the first half of the year, over 500 students in pre-K through fourth grade received one-on-one reading help from volunteers. Based on reporting by teachers, 92% of students who participated in Read United this spring showed improved reading proficiency.
And, now we’re on a journey to help even more students who have been referred to Read United, with help from Dr. Lawrence, teachers, businesses, nonprofits, labor and caring folks just like you.
More than 150 volunteers have raised their hands to invest their time in our community’s most important resource — our kids. And we won’t stop until we’ve helped all 500 students (and counting) who stand to benefit from one-on-one reading support.
Together, we can overcome pandemic-related reading proficiency gaps that disproportionately effect Black and Hispanic students, and give our students a future where they can follow their dreams.
education is key