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United Way of Southwest Minnesota
Clarkfield Children Graduate from 1,000 Books Before Kindergaraten! May-19-2015
Congratulations to Bella Goschey and Audrey Hanson on their accomplishment. They are the first two children to graduate from the program in Clarkfield. A special graduation celebration was held earlie
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Student Emergency Fund Grants May-19-2015
This year marks twelve years of student emergency grant funding made available to schools in the United Way of Southwest Minnesota service area. Each spring all private, public and charter schools in
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In Recognition May-15-2015
Thank you to everyone who donated food and/or monetary donations in support of the Stamp Out Hunger food drive. Letter carriers in this area, assisted by rural carriers, collected 3,002 pounds of food
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United Way of SW MN to offer Board Governance Training Session May-15-2015
Board and staff working together can either be exciting or frustrating and challenging. The secret is to provide Board Governance training for your board and staff. The best way to ensure having
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Letter Carriers to Help Stamp out Hunger on May 9 April-30-2015
Area residents have an opportunity to help Stamp Out Hunger by donating non-perishable, non-breakable food items on Saturday, May 9th.  Letter Carriers will collect these donated items as they ma
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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.