Helping our Students Succeed

What is the issue?
Too many young people in central Iowa do not complete high school on time. Research shows they stand to earn $707,400 less over their working lifetime. When you add the burden of increased social costs attributed to dropping out, every dropout truly does represent a million dollar problem. But a dropout is more than 12 years in the making. Young children who enter kindergarten unprepared can become a third grader who cannot read. And 23.8% of fourth graders are not proficient in reading - a strong predictor for future school success. That's why United Way of Central Iowa has embarked on a ten year plan to help students from Central Iowa graduate on time.
How does United Way help?
1) School Readiness.  Supporting programs that work with pregnant mothers so they get appropriate prenatal care and babies are born healthy. Children receive quality early learning and enter kindergarten developmentally on track in the areas of literacy, social, emotional and cognitive skills.
2) Early Grade Success.  Elementary-age students are on track academically, prepared to succeed in later grades and to graduate from high school on time.
3) Middle Grade Success. Middle school students are on track academically, prepared to succeed in school, transition successfully and to graduate from high school on time.
4) High School Success. Helping young people stay on track academically, prepared to succeed in high school, and attain their high school diploma.
What are the research based strategies that United Way is using to impact the goal?  Click here to see the entire Results Scorecard for Education and the results of how programs funded by United Way are helping to impact school success for the children and youth in Central Iowa
GIVE. Your contributions helped:
  • Provide early learning environments for approximately 430 at-risk children (0-5 years) where approximately 90% are screened for developmental delays and referred for follow-up services where needed.
  • Provide after school programs for more than 2,200 at-risk students, after which more than 55% participated in the program 3 days a week or more helping them improve their school attendance and improved grades.
  • Provide 115 students an alternative way to earn credits toward graduation at the East High School Academic Support Lab where they were able to earn 81 credits toward High School Graduation.
ADVOCATE. Your voice:
  • Retained the statewide preschool program
  • Maintained local control over early childhood through Early Childhood Iowa.
  • Supported $1 million in state grants for Iowa afterschool programs in Iowa.
VOLUNTEER. Your efforts:
  • 157 volunteers walked door to door in September for “Reach out to Dropout”
  • 300 volunteers read to children on the Day of Action for “Read to Learn”
  • 13 companies donated 5,500 books for “Stuff the Bus”





For more information contact:

Kate Bennett, Community Impact Officer, Education  515.246.6612