Focus on Education

Education is a cornerstone for success in school, work and life. And it benefits the whole community: high school graduates earn more and contribute more to their local economies, are more engaged in their communities, and are more likely to raise kids who also graduate. United Way is about more than short-term charity for a few; we’re about lasting solutions that build opportunity for all. We look at the big picture: what resources are lacking or need strengthening, and how we can address those gaps to keep kids on track to graduation.

With United Way engaged in nearly 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide, we are bringing millions of people together to solve community problems.


We invite you to give, to advocate, or to volunteer—only by working together can we help every child unlock their full potential and empower the workforce of tomorrow. To improve education, United Ways are helping children and youth to:

  • Start school ready to succeed
  • Read at grade level early on
  • Complete secondary education
  • Pursue college or post-secondary credentials

Before the Classroom
in Marion County

Let's Read 20 Logo

“By the way, I wanted to share that your campaign and message is beginning to make a difference - our kindergarten students’ skills are way ahead of past kindergarten students!"

Sarah Grogan
Reading Recovery Coach at Taft Elementary

Marion City Taft Elementary is just one of the 12 elementary schools in Marion County taking advantage of the Let’s Read 20 community initiative.

In 2014, Marion County education statistics were bleak at best. Approximately two thirds of preschool children were scoring below the number used to indicate readiness for kindergarten.

Let’s Read 20 was created by a number of community partners to educate parents on both the short-term and long-range effects of reading to their children at least 20 minutes per day and to supply books.

United Way acts as both the administrative and fiscal agent for the initiative, which has to date, disseminated 87,750 books to Marion County parents and children. As you can see, positive results are becoming more evident with each passing year.