The British and American peoples have always shared common values, even if we often express them differently (for example, the spelling of “color” and “colour”). The same is true in the crucial area of early education. In the United States, many local United Ways have adopted Success by 6, an early education initiative aimed at ensuring children under the age of six enter school with the developmental skills needed to learn and succeed. Across the pond, Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services (the United Way in Liverpool, United Kingdom) launched their own version, Thrive by 5, in March 2011.
The goal of Thrive by 5 is the same as Success by 6: to expand children’s access to books, encourage parents to read more with their children, support children and their families in the development of a love for reading, and prepare children for school and learning. Every year, Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services Way plans to improve the lives of 900 children by promoting literacy rich environments in homes and local communities.
Providing every child with a strong early foundation in education makes sense, no matter what community you live in. We all benefit when a child succeeds in school, and to make that happen, we all need to come together around lasting solutions. Consider reaching out to your local United Way and finding out about opportunities to give, to advocate, and to volunteer. We also invite you to make a difference in a child’s life by taking the pledge to become a volunteer reader, tutor or mentor. That’s what it takes to unlock the potential of every person, and build stronger communities. That’s what it means to LIVE UNITED.