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United Way of Southwest Minnesota
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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Born Learning Trail Open & Ribbon Cutting Planned July-14-2014
United Way of Southwest Minnesota, the City of Granite Falls, Granite Falls Kiwanis, Bursch Travel and The Sawmill are excited to bring a Born Learning Trail (BLT) to Granite Falls to help parents and
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Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive July-10-2014
Help area children get a good start to the school year by providing some new school supplies or hygiene products.  Donation collection barrels and boxes are in place at Shopko, Wal-Mart, Marshall
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New Board Members and Officers for United Way of Southwest Minnesota July-10-2014
United Way of Southwest Minnesota has elected new officers and directors for the organization for the 2014-15 fiscal year.  Joining the board as new directors are Mark Schnaser, Marshall, Taylor
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I Scream, You Scream....We All Scream for Cold Stone! July-8-2014
The team of Ambassadors at the Lyon County Courthouse will be serving up Cold Stone Creamery on Wednesday, July 9th from 12:00pm-2:30pm outside the courthouse. Look for the Cold Stone truck on 6th Str
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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.