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United Way of Southwest Minnesota
Walmart Supports United Way of Southwest Minnesota March-2-2015
Walmart is a strong supporter of the United Way of Southwest Minnesota. Employees at Walmart Store #1722 in Marshall contributed $1,344.00 through payroll contributions and Walmart made an additional
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Imagination Library Bags Being Distributed February-27-2015
In 2014, 936 children were able to practice their school readiness skills with a ‘Wild About Kindergarten’ bag. These bags are given to every child who attends Kindergarten Round-Up in the
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Community Investment Process February-23-2015
An important part of United Way of Southwest Minnesota’s work is the annual review of local not-for-profit programs that seek affiliation and grant funding from United Way. It’s an excitin
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Community Impact Grant Applications Available February-23-2015
The United Way of Southwest Minnesota’s 2015 Community Impact Grant Application forms are available at www.unitedwayswmn.org (Your United Way tab – Community Impact Grants section). All gr
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250000th Imagination Library Book Recipient February-13-2015
This article is the third in a four part series focusing on the Imagination Library Program. The final article will demonstrate additional ways the program is benefiting the region. Previous articles
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- Early Literacy Important Every Day of the Year

Educators and policymakers of all stripes have put on their Cat-in-the-Hat hats and read to young children to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday. The United Way System, in partnership with the National Education Association and teachers everywhere, is proud to celebrate Read Across America. It's a fun way to celebrate books and reading, but our commitment to early literacy must be sustained every day of the year.

Across the country, two-thirds of our 3rd graders aren't reading on grade level, which means they're four times as likely to drop out of high school later on. And the outlook is even worse for disadvantaged students. A staggering 83% of 4th graders from low-income families don't read on grade level.

We all want opportunity for our children. But kids who don't read well by 3rd or 4th grade tend to fall farther behind, as they start reading to learn. Too many check out, drop out and fail to reach their potential. It's no exaggeration to say that helping kids read well can help us close achievement gaps, increase graduation rates, support our local economy and build a strong community.

Families, schools and communities have to work together. We have the power to change our nation's future if we work together to help struggling readers in elementary school. Teachers can't do it alone. Families may not know exactly what to do to help their child read, or to spot a reading problem early on. The Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) program in your local school district is a valuable resource to help families spot reading problems and provide information, resources and tools to establish good reading strategies.

But the truth is, all of us can be part of the solution. You can read out loud to your child, or grandchild, tonight. You can volunteer to read to kids in your local child care center, or elementary school, next week. You can volunteer as a tutor or mentor, speak up at your local school board meeting, or donate books to your local library or after school program. The United Way of Southwest Minnesota supports early literacy through a multitude of programs and relationships with community organizations and encourages you to visit the website UnitedWaySWMN.org for opportunities to give, advocate and volunteer.

 

Take action. Because change doesn't happen without you.

 

United Way of Southwest Minnesota is an autonomous, local organization working to create lasting changes in people's lives and the communities of Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Yellow Medicine and western Redwood Counties of Minnesota.