United Way of Story County (UWSC) is a strategic leader in building county-wide partnerships. We fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community.
We fund programs that focus on:
- Prevention strategies
- Outreach/advocacy services
- Access to building blocks for academic success
Result 1: School Readiness
Result 2: Grade-Level Reading
Result 3: Public Education & Advocacy
EDUCATION: How United Way of Story County Helps
UWSC knows that a strong education is paramount for a great quality of life. By investing in this issue area, kids have the early advantages needed for success once they reach school, school-aged youth have resources to help them stay on track or catch up and adults across the county have support and the prevention strategies to assist them in succeeding. Watch the 2013 LIVE UNITED Campaign video on education to learn more.
Iowa Reading Corps
United Way of Story County is excited to announce that 9 AmeriCorps members have been recruited and trained to implement the Iowa Reading Corps program to address third grade reading in 8 elementary schools. AmeriCorps members are delivering research-based tutoring and literacy interventions to struggling readers in kindergarten through 3rd grade at Kate Mitchell, Fellows, Sawyer, St. Cecilia, Gilbert Intermediate, Ballard East, Nevada Central, and Roland-Story. Thank you to Casey Cates, Caitlyn Moens, Ellie Caldwell, Joe Kanauss, Sarina Desmond, Sunism Park, Hanna Bell, Cierra Meinecke, and Paula Clatt for serving. Thank you for our donors for helping us invest in programs that work!
Research spanning 100 years shows that students lose ground over the summer months. And students from families with low incomes lose, on average, two months or more in reading. For many of these students, they are already behind when they first come to school and even if they can catch up during the school year The lack of learning opportunities in the summer makes that gap even wider. What is most alarming is that by the end of 5th grade, these children are nearly three grade equivalents behind more affluent peers in reading. UWSC is finding solutions. Visit the Summer Learning page to learn more about the summer programs in Story County and how you can help.
Third Grade Reading Levels Matter!
A recent report issued by the Annie E. Casey Foundation details the importance of being on track at third grade:
"Reading proficiently by the end of third grade (as measured by National Association of Educational Progress at the beginning of fourth grade) can be a make-or-break benchmark in a child’s educational development. Up until the end of third grade, most children are learning to read. Beginning in fourth grade, however, they are reading to learn, using their skills to gain more information in subjects such as math and science, to solve problems, to think critically about what they are learning, and to act upon and share that knowledge in the world around them. Up to half of the printed fourth-grade curriculum is incomprehensible to students who read below that grade level, according to the Children’s Reading Foundation. And three quarters of students who are poor readers in third grade will remain poor readers in high school, according to researchers at Yale University.” (page 9)
To see what this looks like for kids, watch these videos produced by the Iowa Association of School Boards: