Local Stories Focusing on Education in Central Indiana

Education is one of United Way of Central Indiana's top priorities. Our work is focused on achieving two goals: help kids be ready to learn when they start kindergarten, and help students perform at grade level in reading and math by the time they reach 6th grade.

We're seeing encouraging results for our efforts thus far. We've provided more than 500,000 high-quality books to children under age 6, many of whom live in economically challenged neighborhoods - assessments indicate they're coming to school better prepared to learn. Through a public awareness campaign and outreach to parents in neighborhoods with significant need, we raised the percentage of kindergarteners attending the first day of school from 64% in 2008 to 93% in 2010. And thanks to enhanced math instruction in another group of schools, 6th-graders showed tremendous improvement in the state math assessment, with one school more than doubling its pass rate in that grade.

Recently, we held two community conversations and invited donors, volunteers, board members and other key constituents to view Waiting for "Superman." We also invited local education experts, including union leadership, school superintendents, the state department of education and reformers to come and share their reactions with the audience. More than 200 people attended each screening. We asked the audiences to get involved, and we provided them with ways they can give, advocate and volunteer to improve opportunities for kids in our community.

Sam Perry
Director, Marketing & Communications
United Way of Central Indiana
Indianapolis, IN