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.

Working towards our Achieve United 2025 Goals

LIVE United 2025: Achieve United

Advancing Childhood Learning

Through our Achieve United pillar, we're working to ensure that all Rhode Island children walk into the classroom with the tools to learn. This includes increasing literacy levels and expanding access to afterschool and summer learning programs.

Kid planting seeds inside in a homemade planter
Goal: Third Grade Reading

Double the 3rd Grade reading proficiency of Rhode Island’s Black and Latino Children

Black Students 

Source: RI Kids Count Fact Book (2019, 2020)
Frequency: Annual

Hispanic Students 

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.

Lisa Guillette is the executive director of Foster Forward.JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF

Zoning laws hindering housing construction

The Boston Globe

"Cortney Nicolato, the CEO of United Way of Rhode Island and another member of the special legislative commission, said most of the state’s land use enabling legislation was written in 1991... 'When you have 100 amendments in a 30-year legislation, it's clearly not working... The housing crisis cannot be truly transformed until we tackle systemic barriers, like zoning laws and land use.'"

READ ON SITE

McKee is proposing $250M for housing

McKee Proposes $250 Million for Housing

GoLocalProv

"Our state's housing crisis is significant and must be a priority in the budget. But just as important, the investment needs to combine with transformational change in the systems surrounding housing as a whole," said Cortney Nicolato, president and CEO of United Way of Rhode Island.

READ ON SITE

Thumbnail with side-by-side images of WPRI's Kim Kalunian (left) and United Way of Rhode Island's Kyle Bennett (right) with the headline, "COMMUNITY FOCUS: INTERVIEW WITH THE UNITED WAY."

Community Focus: United Way/Kyle Bennett

WPRI 12

"Director of Policy and Equity for United Way of Rhode Island Kyle Bennett joined 12 News at 4 to discuss the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, how many families benefited from it, and what residents can do to help."

VIEW ON SITE

Voting Begins for Nonprofit Innovation Lab

“Following months of honing their innovative ideas to create positive social impact in our state, leaders of six nonprofits will make their pitch to Rhode Islanders via brief videos in hopes of winning the Public Choice Award of the Nonprofit Innovation Lab. The voting opens Jan. 19 and ends on Jan. 24, with the winning organization receiving $5,000 in funding.”

Leaders Selected for ED Learning Circle

“Leaders of 11 local nonprofits have been selected by United Way of Rhode Island as fellows for its next Executive Director Learning Circle series. The year-long program takes an innovative approach to building the capacity of, and strengthening, the state’s nonprofit sector.”

211: On the Line

“It’s been very, very difficult at times,” shares Evelyn Cabrera, a senior community resource specialist and team leader for United Way 211 in Rhode Island. “But I couldn’t be more proud of our work and the ways we’ve been there to help our fellow Rhode Islanders throughout this crisis.”

UPCOMING EVENTS

National 211 Day Celebration

Join United Way of Rhode Island for our National 211 Day Celebration on Friday, Feb. 11 from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Together, we're celebrating our 211 team who is always there, our donors who make it possible to answer each call, and our community partners who help callers get the services they need. This is a free, virtual event.

REGISTER

Equity Challenge 2022

Ready to learn more about racial equity? Join our Equity Challenge 2022. You can start when we launch on Feb. 28, 2022 or anytime after that. After registering, you'll receive an email each weekday for three weeks with resources, reflection questions, and actions you can take to help create a more equitable Rhode Island.

REGISTER