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.

Featured image for Providence Journal Opinion Logo

Invest in after-school and summer learning

The Providence Journal

"As Rhode Island’s policymakers allocate [American Rescue Plan Act] funding for education recovery and school districts determine how to spend those funds, it’s crucial that they partner with and fund after-school and summer learning programs," share Roshni Darnal, director of community investments at United Way of Rhode Island, and Maryclaire Knight.

Read on site

Justin Thomas has made large strides toward building a new life in Rhode Island during and after his time in prison, but he remains saddled with court-related debt that will weigh on him for many years. He is among many people who may benefit from a new program that can reduce fines and fees, but not restitution. David DelPoio/The Providence Journal

RI opens path to break cycle of court fees

The Providence Journal

"Long after Rhode Islanders serve their time in prison, many are saddled with thousands of dollars in court fees and fines, even as they struggle to rebuild fractured lives... On Thursday, Nov. 18, a first-of-its kind event will take place to help people navigate their way back into society."

READ ON SITE

Two Youthbuild Preparatory Academy students sealing a wooden floor. Youthbuild is one of many organizations that make up Rhode Island's nonprofit sector. YOUTHBUILD PREPARATORY ACADEMY

R.I. can no longer overlook nonprofit sector

The Boston Globe

"The pandemic has highlighted the essential, irreplaceable roles played by Rhode Island's nonprofit sector. And our state investments and attention to the sector needs to reflect that."

READ ON SITE

United Way Welcomes New Board Members

“United Way of Rhode Island has appointed a total of 10 community leaders across its board of directors and its Community Advisory Board, while also naming a new board chair. Assuming leadership of the board of directors is Dolph Johnson, EVP, Chief Global Human Resources Officer for Hasbro, Inc.”

Starkweather & Shepley: Annual Celebration Honoree

“Here at United Way of Rhode Island… we take great pride in our role as a convener, bringing community stakeholders together to address our state’s most important issues. And we are tremendously fortunate to have partners that support not only our work, but also our vision for a Rhode Island that is the best it can be.”

Homes RI: Annual Celebration Honoree

“It’s no secret that Rhode Island is in the midst of a housing crisis — one that began prior to COVID-19 and that’s since reached epic proportions over the past 18 months. As it’s estimated the Ocean State is short some 20,000+ units of affordable housing… one group in particular is leading the charge toward flipping the script.”

UPCOMING EVENTS

Embracing Equitable Practices in OSTL

Join the Rhode Island Afterschool Network for our fall 2021 professional development conference, Embracing Equitable Practices in OSTL, on Friday, Dec. 3, and Saturday, Dec. 4. You'll learn strategies from experts in our field and receive tools to help mitigate the impact of racism and inequities on our youth. This is a virtual event.

REGISTER

Learn with Leaders ft. Steven O’Donnell

Join United Way of Rhode Island's Young Leaders Circle for Learn with Leaders featuring Steven O'Donnell on Wednesday, Dec. 8, from 6 – 7 p.m. You'll hear how Steve has risen through the ranks in public safety and now paves the way so underserved youth in Rhode Island can reach their full potential. This is a free, virtual event.

REGISTER

Community Learning Partners

Join United Way of Rhode Island's Women United for our next Community Learning Partners event on Thursday, Dec. 9, from noon – 1 p.m. You'll hear from Camp RYSE, Meeting Street, and Mt. Hope Learning Center — three Women United grantee partners doing exceptional work to support childhood learning. This is a free, virtual event.

REGISTER

YLC Holiday Event and Stocking Drive

Join United Way of Rhode Island's Young Leaders Circle (YLC) in spreading holiday cheer as we collect stuffed stockings for underserved youth in Rhode Island. Bring a stocking filled with gloves, gift cards, and other goodies to the Narragansett Beer Taproom in Providence on Thursday, Dec. 16, from 6 – 7 p.m. and receive a complimentary beer ticket for up to three beers.

REGISTER