United Way of Greater St. Louis Inc.
Each year, about 4 million children enter kindergarten in the U.S.
Without the necessary skills required for their grade, a domino effect is created, which leaves children to fall behind their peers.
In Missouri, 47% of 3- to 4-year-olds in St. Louis City are not enrolled in school. And only 3% of 4-year-olds throughout Missouri are enrolled in state-funded preschool programs.
With quality preschool programs, children are less likely to repeat grades, need special education, or get into future trouble with the law.
WHY IT MATTERS
More than 1 in 3 American children start kindergarten without the language skills they need.
And on top of that, 1 in 5 children may not have access to basic school supplies because of their family’s economic circumstance. Without those necessary tools, these children are less likely to succeed in class.
HOW WE HELP
We help by preparing children for school and giving families the tools for success.
In 2018, United Way of Greater St. Louis’ agencies helped 2,106 children prepare to enter kindergarten. Our agencies in the Greater St. Louis region work hard to ensure every child has the opportunity for success. It’s important to us that children receive the support they need to dream big and reach their potential.
What are the three ways we help children succeed academically?
Early intervention: We fight to help all kids get the support they need, especially those who come from low-income neighborhoods. In 2015, almost 23% of children under age 6 in Missouri lived in poverty. Through our United Way agencies, we fund early screening and diagnosis, as well as developmental, language, speech, and other pediatric therapies.
Protection & nurturing: United Way of Greater St. Louis’ supported agencies help give families advice for stressful situations and the tools for educational success. Research by the National Center for Education Statistics shows that students who are adequately equipped with school supplies miss fewer days of school and are more attentive in class.
Early literacy: By eighth grade, 2 in 3 students in the U.S. are reading below proficiency. To remedy this, parents need to welcome reading into their homes. Studies show that children in those homes will increase their chances of reading above grade level by 53%. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library provides easier access to books by mailing free, high-quality books to children ages 0-5, no matter their family’s income.
Help a child succeed academically. Support United Way of Greater St. Louis’ Early Childhood Education impact fund. #UnitedWithUs
Sources: National Center for Education Statistics; Missouri Head Start; U.S. Department of Education