All York County children, from birth through age 8, have the best possible start for lifelong learning and success.
The early years of a child's life are the most critical learning period, building a foundation for success in school, and in life. In 2016, 33% of Maine students entering fourth grade were reading proficiently. Poor reading skills impact on-time graduation rates.
Bright Beginnings Community Impacts:
- Invests more than $295,000 in childcare, early literacy, and other Bright Beginnings programs.
- Facilitates the only Early Childhood Coalition in Maine.
- Trains Volunteer Readers to support early literacy for students through third grade.
- Operates Tools4Schools, an annual program that provides more than 800 free backpacks full of supplies to school children.
Our work includes:
United Way Worldwide Focus on Education and National Goals
Education is the cornerstone of individual and community success. But with more than 1.2 million children dropping out each year, America faces an education crisis. The cost? More than $312 billion in lost wages, taxes and productivity over their lifetimes.1 These trends are reversible, but only when communities and public, private and nonprofit sectors work together.
In 2008, United Way Worldwide launched a 10-year initiative to cut the number of high school dropouts in half by 2018. It’s an ambitious goal, but by utilizing our core strengths — a national network, committed partners and public engagement capacity — we can achieve it. United Way's model focuses on supportive communities, effective schools and strong families, strategies and approaches rooted in research. Tackling the education challenge requires reframing education on a birth to 21 continuum.
How You Can Help
The strategies proven to work are those that connect communities to their schools: parent involvement; volunteer readers in the child care and school classroom; mentors for challenged students; business leaders engaged in early childhood advocacy and more - Volunteer to Get Involved!
1Figure according to Communities in Schools, one of America’s leading drop-out prevention partnerships.
Here are two YouTube videos that underscore the importance of investing in programs that will change childrens' future: