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United Way of Southwest Minnesota
The Ribbon Has Been Cut July-29-2014
The Ribbon has been officially cut! 

Today marks the grand opening of the Granite Falls Born Learning Trail. Located in Rice Park, this amenity will be used by families for years to
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Marshall GreenStep Business July-29-2014
Congratulations, United Way of Southwest Minnesota has been recognized as a Marshall GreenStep Business with 16  points and will be listed on the www.marshallgreenstep.org website!  On behal
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Stuff the Bus at HyVee July-29-2014
Thank you to everyone who helped us Stuff the Bus at Hy-Vee last Friday and donated cash at the register throughout the weekend! We collected about 1000 donated items, plus $900 in donations (some cas
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United Way Membership Requirements and Network Benefits July-29-2014
United Way of Southwest Minnesota (UWSWMN) unites people and resources to improve lives in the area with a focus on education, income (financial stability), health, safety & well-being, and hunger
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Gatzke Completes United Way Internship July-17-2014
Brittany Gatzke is a senior at Southwest Minnesota State University and is double majoring in Early Childhood Elementary Education and Early Childhood Special Education. She is originally from Hitchco
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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.