Community Education Goal: To improve the percentage of central Iowa students who graduate from high school to 95 percent by the year 2020.

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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 represents a million-dollar problem—and a lesser long-term quality of life for the student. 

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. Reading proficiently by the end of third grade is a strong predictor for future school success. A third-grader who cannot read is unable to comprehend classroom content in later grades, making it four times more likley that they become a dropout.

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View-Scorecard.pngResults Scorecard is a tool used to measure progress toward goals and strategies. Click the scorecard icons to see specific measures.

Education Focus Area

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Education Progress

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Highlighted Education Programs & Initiatives

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READ to SUCCEED is a community-wide awareness campaign to inspire community action to ensure that, by the end of 2020, 90 percent of central Iowa children read proficiently by the end of third grade.

The  campaign provides resources for parents and caregivers to help children learn to read, information on how to advocate for summer reading programs and volunteer opportunities for community members.spacer.png

Learn More About READ to SUCCEED

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Book Buddy engages WLC members and other community volunteers to meet weekly with children in order to increase print literacy skills. 

Participating students are introduced to 25 books over the course of the year and will have approximately 50 opportunities to read with a volunteer.

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Learn More About BOOK BUDDY

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Power Read is a literacy and mentoring program where volunteer reading partners are matched with elementary school students. Using literacy kits developed by a team of experts, volunteers meet their students at their school each week to read a book together and do a skill-building activity. Students benefit from consistent and positive interactions with caring adults. Volunteers benefit from the knowledge that they are making a positive impact on a child’s future.spacer.png

Learn More About POWER READ

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Graduation Walk brings volunteers to the homes of youth who have dropped out or are at risk for dropping out because they are behind in course credits.Over the past five years, Graduation Walk volunteers have visited 3,878 homes, connecting with more than 1,000 students to engage them with school to improve their futures.

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United Way of Central Iowa Women’s Leadership Connection and local businesses collect quality children's books during the annual Stuff the Bus book drive. The books are donated to the central Iowa early childhood centers supported by United Way of Central Iowa Women’s Leadership Connection, as well as other nonprofits and home child care providers.

Learn More About STUFF THE BUS