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, only 33% of Maine students entering fourth grade were reading proficiently. Poor reading skills impact on-time graduation rates and limit education and employment opportunities.
United Way of York County 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 of York County is part of the United Way Worldwide network. Research shows that education is the cornerstone of individual and community success. The United Way Worldwide network is focused on children entering school ready and being successful in elementary school. Early success leads to future school success and increased opportunities.
By utilizing our core strengths, we can mobilize resources to improve communities and change lives. United Way's model focuses on supportive communities, effective schools and strong families; strategies and approaches rooted in research.
How You Can Help
The strategies proven to work are those that connect communities to their schools: parent involvement; volunteer readers in the classroom; mentors for challenged students; business leaders engaged in early childhood advocacy and more - Volunteer to Get Involved!
Here are two YouTube videos that underscore the importance of investing in programs that will change childrens' future: