Quality education helps youth and adults achieve their full potential
The Heart of Illinois United Way works to ensure that our children are ready to succeed when they enter kindergarten and people of all ages are prepared for work, postsecondary education and life. By preparing children to enter school and providing them ongoing resources throughout their education, they'll be able to reach their academic and career potential.
- United Way funds distributed to the Education Impact Area support programs focused on development and intervention, including:
- Childcare and Pre-K Literacy
- After School Programs
- Tutoring and Mentoring
- Adult Literacy
- Special Education
- United Way funded education programs provide . . .
- Ages Pre-K through adult with literacy success
- After school tutoring that leads to grade promotion
- Mentoring that improves grades and social-emotional skills
- Parenting skills that build healthy parent-child relationships
- Here are just a few ways Heart of Illinois United Way funded programs are positively impacting education in central Illinois:
- 86% of middle school students increased math scores by at least one letter grade in an afterschool program
- 97% increase in life skills by parents who participated in a parenting skills class
- 88% of children in Success By 6 improved their understanding of words and sentence structure when being read a story
LEARNING KINDNESS IS A GREAT GROUP PROJECT
Students participating in afterschool programs improve attendance, have better math and reading skills, and are more likely to graduate. Many afterschool programs, like the Teen Reach program at Quest Charter Academy, also focus on life skills and anti-bullying which lead to healthier relationships, better attitudes about school, and higher levels of self-esteem.
Annually, the Heart of Illinois United Way invests more than $870,000 in afterschool and mentoring programs for central Illinois youth. Not only are these programs vital for improving grades and graduation rates, they also have many benefits outside of school such as decreasing the likelihood of drug or alcohol use, and improving behavior at home.
Support Along the Way Caps off a Great Education
The Heart of Illinois United Way funds early childhood, mentoring, tutoring, afterschool and in-school counseling programs? All of these provide the support needed to achieve graduation. These students from Quest Charter Academy benefit from a grant from our S3 (Supporting Student Success) initiative that provides counseling services, professional development for teachers, and an anger management program for students.
A Good Mentor Has Wisdom to Share
Youth who have a mentor are more confident in their academic abilities, enjoy school more and understand the importance of doing well in school. Funded by the United Way, Heart of Illinois Big Brothers Big Sisters matched Maria with her “little” Alaysia, a straight-A student, who likes exploring her creativity. Maria serves as a role model helping her with school work and showing Alaysia she can go far with hard work and creativity. After being matched for more than a year, Alaysia is thriving ... she’s more confident at school and setting goals for the future. Alaysia’s teachers and family believe her future is extremely bright.
'After School' Moves Students Forward
More than 75 percent of mothers with school-aged children work and there is a gap between the time the children are released from school and parents come home from work. With more than 25 percent of K-12 students responsible for taking care of themselves, after school programs offer a safe and enriching environment compared to leaving children home alone.
Heart of Illinois United Way funded after school programs provide central Illinois youth a safe place to be with other students after school. These programs help them obtain better grades, study habits and positive relationships with their peers. After school programs improve creative thinking, problem-solving and communication skills while encouraging the self-direction skills needed for successful employment as adults.
Our Education Initiatives
Success By 6 and S3 Help Children Achieve Academic Success
The Heart of Illinois United Way funds two special initiatives under the Education Impact Area - Success By 6® and S3 (Supporting Student Success).
Our Success By 6 program focuses on preparing pre-school children to be ready for academic success when they enter kindergarten.
Our S3 initiative is a collaboration between public schools in Peoria and Tazewell counties and United Way partner agencies. S3 focuses on improving academic achievement by providing in-school counseling and group support for substance abuse, violence prevention and mental health.
United Way Education Programs at Work
To see United Way funded education programs at work visit our YouTube channel.