Advancing childhood learning

Advancing childhood learning

ACHIEVE UNITED

WHAT WE'RE UP AGAINST

Eighty percent of learning happens outside the classroom. Unfortunately, families struggling to make ends meet often don’t have the time, money, or access to provide these out-of-classroom experiences.

EARLY LEARNING

<50%

of Rhode Island Pre-K children are in school or early-learning programs

READING PROFICIENCY

33%

of Black and Latinx fourth graders are proficient readers, compared to 57% of their white classmates

AFTERSCHOOL WAITING LIST

37,471

Rhode Island kids do not have access to afterschool programs

WHAT WE'RE DOING TO ADVANCE CHILDHOOD LEARNING

Advocating for resources to build literacy

United Way of Rhode Island focuses on inspiring children to fall in love with reading and ensuring that all Rhode Island children walk into the classroom with the tools to learn. To accomplish this, we are mobilizing families and other community members to advocate for more resources for communities that serve a disproportionate number of students not reading at their proper grade level.

This year, we will continue to engage youth to brainstorm activities to improve their schools and communities. We will also explore public/private partnerships and funding to increase literacy levels for Rhode Island children.

Boy wearing a United Way shirt while reading a book.

Advocating for out-of-school time learning

We know that Rhode Islanders are impacted by the environment they live in, and they are impacted by the neighborhoods they live in. We are creating pathways for more youth of color to participate in high quality out-of-school time learning. We are also working to reduce the pathway to prison, using education as a key catalyst.

This year, we’ll be campaigning to secure state funding for out-of-school time learning programs, specifically in areas with the greatest access needs. We will invest in and support programs focused on restorative justice practices, empowering young people, and trauma-informed care.

what our "ACHIEVE UNITED" goals are

READING PROFICIENCY

2x

fourth-grade reading proficiency of Rhode Island’s Black and Latinx children

OUT-OF-SCHOOL TIME LEARNING

+50%

access to and participation in out-of-school time learning in low-income communities

HOW YOU CAN HELP ADVANCE CHILDHOOD LEARNING

Make every hour count for all our kids.

Join

Join the Rhode Island Afterschool Network (RIAN) to stay informed about the issues and learn how you can advocate for more funding for afterschool programs.

Advocate

Contact your local legislator and let them know you support out-of-school time learning and would like to see it supported in the state budget.

GIVE

Your contribution to United Way of Rhode Island will help us continue to expand childhood learning.

IN THE NEWS

United Way’s 211 line has received 90K+ calls about pandemic, CEO says

211 has received 90K+ calls about pandemic

WPRI 12

"United Way's 211 call center has been inundated with questions and concerns from Rhode Islanders regarding the coronavirus pandemic… during an interview Wednesday… [United Way of Rhode Island's president and CEO Cortney] Nicolato said the call volume increased roughly 40% from previous years, 'and [we] were already taking the most calls per capita in the country.'"

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United Way pledged $100M toward equity

The Brown Daily Herald

"United Way of Rhode Island has pledged $100M to promote racial equity through accessible education, affordable housing, and employment for Black, Indigenous and People of Color in Rhode Island as part of the organization’s LIVE UNITED 2025 plan to help address systemic racism… [Brown] University has pledged… $600,000… [over] the next four years toward the LIVE UNITED 2025 campaign."

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Shekarchi unveils legislative package on housing

Shekarchi unveiled legislative package

WPRI 12

"House Speaker Joe Shekarchi on Monday unveiled a legislative package... that he said could go a long way toward addressing the state’s affordable housing challenges. 'Housing is a fundamental right for all humans and that’s not a reality today,' [United Way of Rhode Island's president and CEO Cortney] Nicolato said. 'We know we have to do better.'"

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UPCOMING EVENTS

forum on economic stability

Forum on Economic Stability

Join United Way of Rhode Island and the City of Providence at 1 p.m. for a virtual forum on economic stability. You'll hear from policymakers and advocates about policies you can advocate for to help Rhode Island families achieve economic stability.

Register here.

Our Community Learning Partners Series features community partners that are dedicated to improving children's literacy.

Community Learning Partners Series

Join Women United at 12 p.m. for the next event in their Community Learning Partners Series. You'll hear an update on the state of afterschool in Rhode Island from United Way's Ayana Melvan and Representative Julie A. Casimiro.

Register here.

401Gives Day on April 1, 2021

YLC Learn with Leaders Series

Join Young Leaders Circle at 5:30 p.m. to hear about the largest statewide giving day - 401Gives, and how you can become a champion for your favorite nonprofit.

Register here.