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.

Featured_Image_Program_aims_to_reverse_learning_loss

Program aims to reverse learning loss

WPRI

For 30 hours a week for six weeks, the Summer Learning Initiative gives students the opportunity to learn in fun and out-of-the-box ways... "There’s ways to be able to explore and be creative without feeling like they are falling farther and farther behind, which I think a lot of youth are feeling right now because of the pandemic," [Marlene] Guay said.

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Sun file photo

Summer energy bill assistance is available

The Westerly Sun

The Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund is open to all eligible Rhode Island households experiencing financial difficulty and [needing] assistance with energy expenses, even in the summer. The fund is sponsored by Rhode Island Energy, Block Island Utility District, Ocean State Power, Pascoag Utility District, Petro Home Services and RISEC LP and administered by United Way of Rhode Island.

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Forbes Nonprofit Council members share strategies for nonprofit leaders interested in getting large corporations to give.PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.

10 Ways Nonprofits Can Influence Giving

Forbes Nonprofit Council

As nonprofits seek out donations, leveraging... win-win opportunities can be an effective way to further the social goals of the nonprofit and potential donors. Below, a panel of experts from Forbes Nonprofit Council, including Cortney Nicolato, United Way of Rhode Island's president and CEO, each share one... strategy nonprofit leaders can leverage to influence major corporations to support community-serving efforts.

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United Way Launches Nonprofit Leadership Development Series

United Way of Rhode Island is launching a new leadership development series for staff of local nonprofits with annual budgets of $5 million and under and is currently accepting applications from interested participants. The no-cost program is the Deputy Director Learning Circle, and it was developed specifically to strengthen the competencies of nonprofit staff who aspire to become executive directors.

United Way Issues VITA Program RFP

In support of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program that returns millions of dollars to the pockets of eligible Rhode Islanders, United Way of Rhode Island is making a total of $500,000 in funding available over a two-year grant cycle.

Olneyville Programs Awarded $182,708

Through its Olneyville Community Fund, United Way of Rhode Island has awarded $182,708 in grants to programs whose work is strengthening the Providence neighborhood it calls home… Investments focus on creating opportunities for all by improving access to services for residents, enhancing educational offerings for children through adults, and increasing nonprofit capacity to meet community need. Eleven organizations received funding.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Barbershop Books Prep4Success!

Join United Way of Rhode Island for Barbershop Books Prep4Success! on Friday, August 12 from noon - 3 p.m. at Haircuts & Heritage in Pawtucket. Barbershop Books inspires Black boys and other vulnerable children to read for fun by providing free books at local barbershops. Stop by for free haircut vouchers and backpacks with back-to-school essentials, and enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers, and soft drinks.

United Way of Rhode Island’s 96th Annual Celebration

Join United Way of Rhode Island for our 96th Annual Celebration on Wednesday, October 12 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at Farm Fresh Rhode Island in Providence. Together, we'll celebrate the positive impact we've made this year, thanks to you — our donors, partners, and volunteers — and honor the heroes among us. This event is free and open to all. Registration is required.

REGISTER