Mothers have the most important job in the world: nurturing and equipping their children for the future. Encouraging a love of reading and learning is an important - and sometimes daunting - part of that work, so United Way finds creative, effective ways to support moms and help put kids on the path to success.
In Detroit, for example, United Way for Southeastern Michigan offers moms (and dads) of young children the “Ready4K” text-messaging program. Each week parents receive age-appropriate facts, easy tips, and opportunities for growth to boost their child’s learning by building on existing family routines. Currently there are participants receiving messages in Arabic, English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
One mom said, “The texts give me a reminder of what to do to stay on track and it increases my gentleness and empathy for my baby because as a first-time mom who doesn't have much help, it can get frustrating.” Nearly 100% of participating parents say Ready4K has increased their confidence in their ability to support their child’s learning, and 95% say the program has helped their child grow.
Families also receive customized text messages highlighting other parent supports in the region, like the Virtual Family Literacy Resource Fair. Launched during the pandemic, the event offers programming focused on digital education and virtual learning success. This spring more than 280 students and parents from across Metro Detroit participated, with 100% of families saying they feel better prepared to create more conducive and healthy learning environments.
These are just two examples of initiatives United Way and our partners have developed to serve families and help the next generation thrive in school, work, and life. With an approach to education that spans from cradle to career, we’re ensuring every child gets a strong start in life, teenagers have the tools to learn and grow, and young adults thrive in the job market.
No matter where you live or when you celebrate Mother’s Day, take a moment to reflect on how we can support all mothers. They need and deserve our help, and your local United Way can connect you to volunteer and other opportunities to do just that. Together, we can extend the loving power of moms to every child and build a better future for all.