“For many children, there are factors beyond school that get in the way of success, like lack of early learning opportunities, absence of supports outside of school, and lack of financial stability. United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Strong Learners Investment Priority works to address the full range of issues standing in the way of each child’s success in meeting the important reading readiness milestone.”
Milton J. Little, Jr., CEO and President
United Way of Greater Atlanta brings together people and resources to tackle complex issues and drive sustainable positive change in ways that enable communities to thrive. Ensuring that all children receive a high-quality education beginning at birth is a central part of their work in metro Atlanta and across Georgia. The four pillars of the Get Georgia Reading Campaign provide a powerful framework for doing that.
Through the Strong Learners investment portfolio area, United Way of Greater Atlanta invests in systems change efforts that advance the four pillars statewide. With a clear understanding of the roles and resources each sector brings to the table, United Way of Greater Atlanta invests in four pathways that are connected to the pillars that offer the highest potential to improve third-grade reading in communities with low child well-being scores:
- Increase access to early learning by ensuring more young children have quality learning experiences at home, at quality early childhood providers, and in the community;
- Build reading skills by ensuring that all child-facing adults are knowledgeable about brain science, all children are taught the foundations of literacy as indicated by the Science of Reading, and all children are on track to read on grade level by third grade;
- Provide family health and basic needs support for families navigating untreated chronic health conditions, mental health challenges, housing instability, and other family health issues that get in the way of school attendance—and ensuring children and their families have the food, shelter, transportation, and technology that are fundamental to achieving positive educational outcomes; and
- Strengthen family engagement by fostering the natural leadership that parents have as their children’s first teacher, brain builder, advocate, and coach.
In addition to supporting regional and statewide systems efforts across grantee partners within the 13-county metro area, United Way of Greater Atlanta serves as an incubator for programs and strategies supporting children and families. The Strong Learners team keeps up to date on current issues by participating and aligning with learning networks, advisory committees, and thought leaders, both locally and nationally, to ensure United Way of Greater Atlanta is leveraging best practices to provide equitable solutions to help eradicate illiteracy for Georgia’s third graders.
To learn more about United Way of Greater Atlanta, visit their website.