For years, the work of our local collaboration has been recognized by the national Campaign for Grade Level Reading. This work doesn’t start and end in third grade. We need to give kids a great start by helping support parents, delivering engaging out of school experiences, utilizing proven intervention strategies, and equipping community members with tools to address issues of impact. We also recognize the vital nature of community support in volunteering for mentoring programs and summer learning.



Decrease the achievement gap by reaching 30% more underserved learners by 2025.



  • 27.2% of Story County kindergarten students were not proficient in reading in SY18-19 (Iowa Department of Education)
  • 26.2% of Story County 3rd graders were not reading proficiently in SY18-19 (Iowa Department of Education, ISASP)

*Data from 2019 or most recent year available. While these indicators are not the only ways to assess education in our community, these are data points that illustrate that there is a need in our goal area.

High quality early childhood education / We will increase access to underserved children by providing sliding fee scales and encouraging a focus on equity.
Parenting knowledge and skills / We will support parents in their role of being their kids’ first teachers.
Grade level reading supports / We will increase access for out-of-school learning and proven intervention strategies.
Community-based education and awareness / We will educate community members on issues of impact and empower them with tools to take action.

  • 225 children from underserved populations were enrolled in high-quality early childhood programs supported by United Way.
  • More than 663 youth K-8 from underserved populations were provided with summer enrichment, which means access to quality and engaging out-of-school opportunities, that reinforce and enhance academic and social/emotional learning.
  • 199 of surveyed families reported an increase in their parenting knowledge and skills, representing 94% of those surveyed.
  • 549 children who participated in early childhood and out-of-school programming improved or maintained their reading level, representing 97% of those assessed.
  • 3,996 of surveyed participants in community-based education programs reported having a better understanding than before, representing 94% of those surveyed.

Baseline from FY 2018-19. These performances measures are part of a comprehensive strategy map. They show a range of work, and are reported on by a number of different funded programs. To view our full strategy map and community impact plan, visit



Result 1: Children enter school developmentally on track 


Result 2: Children exit third grade reading at grade level


Result 3: Learners develop the skills needed for life and career, including but not limited to civic literacy, employability skills, financial literacy, and health literacy



Our Work in Education