Alexandria, VA – United Way is mobilizing its national network of 1,200 state and local organizations around a six-week back-to-school advocacy blitz to elevate the importance of putting kids’ education first.
Some 80% of United Ways are working to improve cradle-to-career education, as part of United Way’s larger goal to build up communities by strengthening the building blocks of education, financial stability and health. By galvanizing people around education locally – as volunteers, as financial supporters of efforts that work, and as advocates – United Ways across the country helpchildren enter school ready to learn, help young students read on grade level, and boost high school graduation rates.
But policymakers need to support education just as strongly, and that’s the focus of United Way’s Education Action Week, August 19-23. Parents, educators, young people, United Way partners and more will join together to send that message to Congress. “America is facing an education crisis,” said Stacey D. Stewart, U.S. President, United Way Worldwide. “With more than 1.2 million children dropping out each year, we must work together to effect real change. United Way believes that education is the cornerstone of individual and community success.”
United Way is advocating for:
- Support for early education, so that all children come to school ready to succeed. That includes supporting funding for proven efforts like Early Start, home visiting, Head Start and Child Care Development Block Grant funding.
- Increasing investments in programs that help kids graduate high school, such as early warning and intervention systems, school turnaround and reform models, programs held outside of school, and academic re-entry and dropout recovery programs.
- Policies that help youth get college educations and career training, like Pell Grants and Career and Technical Education
During Education Action week, people are blogging, tweeting, and contacting members of Congress. There’s a Twitter Rally happening, with #Stand4Edu. United Ways are encouraging people to sign United Way’s education petition to Congress and pledge to be a reader, tutor or mentor. (See United Way’s call to action on its web site here.)
About United Way
United Way is a worldwide movement of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways in 41 countries and territories. It advances the common good by focusing on education, income and health – the building blocks for a good quality life. The United Way movement mobilizes millions to action – to give, advocate and volunteer – to improve conditions in their local community. For more information about United Way, please visit: UnitedWay.org.