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.

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Rethinking how one of R.I.’s largest nonprofits can grow

The Boston Globe

In October, [Idrees "Lanre"] Ajakaiye was appointed the new chief development officer at... United Way of Rhode Island where he'll be in charge of helping... United Way achieve its current strategic plan, which outlines the nonprofit's investment of $100 million over five years to help achieve racial equity.

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THE PROVIDENCE CITY COUNCIL gave the second and final approval on Wednesday to a $10 million spending plan for racial reparations. / PBN FILE PHOTO/CHRIS BERGENHEIM

City Council gives final approval to $10M reparations budget

Providence Business News

A two-yearslong effort to bring racial reparations to Providence achieved a milestone Wednesday... The approved funding largely mirrors recommendations set forth by a city panel based on community input, but with one major change that shifts some money into a COVID-19 Equity Fund to be managed by United Way of Rhode Island.

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How you can save money amidst Rhode Island Energy rate hike

ABC6

With rates rising starting Oct. 1, Rhode Islanders have many ways to save money and energy this fall... [For] anyone... need[ing]... financial assistance... United Way of Rhode Island’s 211 service may help... 'We’re here to help the community navigate resources,' said Courtney Smith, director of... 211... The service is available online at 211 United Way of Rhode Island or over the phone.

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New Survey of R.I. Nonprofits Highlights Dire Need

As Rhode Islanders… prepare to participate in Giving Tuesday, the results of a new survey paint a stark picture of the challenges facing the state’s nonprofit sector. Local community-based organizations continue to provide services for communities still facing pandemic-level needs, while facing inflation-driven costs and inadequate staffing caused by the physical and emotional toll of the last two years.

United Way of Rhode Island Appoints Four to Its Board of Directors

Four community leaders have been appointed to the United Way of Rhode Island Board of Directors… Elected for three-year terms are David Bonenberger, president, Rhode Island Energy/PPL Corporation; Anthony Botelho, senior vice president, team leader, Washington Trust; Courtney Hawkins, health and human services industry executive, Salesforce; and Yahaira “Jay” Placencia, senior vice president, private client advisor, Bank of America.

I. Lanre Ajakaiye Joins United Way of R.I. as Chief Development Officer

Following a broad, competitive search for its chief development officer, United Way of Rhode Island has hired a community leader known to be an innovative changemaker. The organization has chosen Idrees “Lanre” Ajakaiye, who brings a deep, diverse range of experience to United Way’s work to transform the future by building racial equity and creating opportunities for all Rhode Islanders.

UPCOMING EVENTS

401Gives Open House

Join us for a 401Gives Open House on Thursday, Dec. 8 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Rhode Island College. Learn about Rhode Island's statewide day of giving and how your fabulous nonprofit can be a part of it.

Information sessions will be held at 4:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided.

This event is free and open to the public.

REGISTER

The State of the RI Nonprofit Sector

Join United Way of Rhode Island and Grantmakers Council of Rhode Island for a virtual conversation about The State of the RI Nonprofit Sector on Friday, Dec. 16 from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Together, we'll explore the challenges facing Rhode Island nonprofits. We'll also discuss opportunities to build capacity and support nonprofit work in 2023.

This event is free and open to the public.

REGISTER