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United Way of Southwest Minnesota
Robert Bunn Named 2013-14 LIVE UNITED Award Recipient April-23-2014
The LIVE UNITED award is presented annually to an individual or group of individuals who have improved their lives or those of others because of a program that has been funded or supported by United W
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Community Impact April-18-2014
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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Power of the Purse Event to Support Early Childhood Literacy Programs April-4-2014
Women United for Early Childhood, a women’s leadership initiative of United Way of Southwest Minnesota, will sponsor the seventh annual “Power of the Purse.”  This year’s
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United Way of Southwest Minnesota Recognizes Gold Level Employee Groups March-27-2014
The United Way of Southwest Minnesota board of directors and staff recognized the following businesses/organizations with the Gold Award at the United Way recognition event held March 18, 2014.  
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Second Step Program at Minneota Public School Awarded United Way Grant March-27-2014
The United Way of Southwest Minnesota Board of Directors recently approved a Special Community Projects Grants to Minneota Public School for the Second Step Program. This grant request will purchase S
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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.