Education
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United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

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Education

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Supports programs that ensure every student is equipped for success in school, work, and life.

Education is the cornerstone of individual and community success. Strong, productive communities are dependent upon a skilled workforce that can compete in a global economy. It is critical to reach children early—even before they start school. Once a young person falls behind it can be very difficult to catch up.

Parents who have support from early on can build great futures for their children. United Way works with schools, parents, and partners to ensure that every child is equipped for success in school, work, and life by investing in programs that produce results.

United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County focuses on supportive communities, effective schools, and strong families. Tackling the education challenge requires reframing education on a cradle-to-career continuum.

More youth are succeeding in school: Last year, 70,251 children or their parents/caregivers received support for early childhood education, youth development, and services for children and families.

In 2023-24, United Way is investing in over 80 education programs, including community-wide initiatives.

 

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New and increased gifts to Education are doubled by Badger Meter from 7/1/23 to 6/30/24 up to $100,000.

Education Objectives

Increase the number of children who: ​

  • Meet developmental milestones.
  • Enter school ready to succeed.
  • Read proficiently by 3rd grade.
  • Graduate high school on time.
  • Resist negative influences.
  • Are prepared for success in school, work, and life.

Program Areas

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Early Childhood Education

United Way is increasing the number of children who enter school ready to succeed. To do this, we invest in programs that provide quality early childcare, help children meet developmental milestones, increase positive parenting skills for parents and caregivers.

Our Impact

Of the children who participated in United Way-funded early childhood education programs:

  • 89% displayed developmental improvement in communication skills
  • 88% displayed developmental improvement in social/emotional skills
  • 87% displayed developmental improvement in cognitive skills
  • 95% displayed developmental improvement in motor skills
  • 59% displayed developmental improvement in literacy skills
  • 87% cooperated with other children

Of the parents/caregivers who participated in United Way-funded early childhood education programs:

  • 93% learned positive ways to deal with stress
  • 94% had improved overall health
  • 92% had decreased stress levels
  • 94% learned more positive caregiving/parenting skills
  • 98% improved their emotional/bonding relationship with their child(ren)
  • 95% improved communication with their child(ren)
  • 95% improved their physical relationship with their child(ren)
  • 93% were better able to control their anger
  • 94% improved positive interactions with family and friends

Community Coalitions, Collaborations, & Partnerships

  • MKE Civic Action Team: Early Childhood
Strengthening Families

United Way is supporting success within the family unit and improving cognitive, social, and or physical skills among children. To do this, we invest in programs that provide support to parents/caregivers, prevent family violence, and improve behavior among children.

Initiatives We Lead

Book Fairs - Builds strong readers by providing free books and family engagement activities at 17 Milwaukee & Waukesha schools.

Our Impact

Of the children who participated in United Way-funded support for children and families programs:

  • 86% cooperated with other children
  • 86% maintained appropriate behavior or improved their behavior
  • 89% displayed developmental improvement in social/emotional skills
  • 92% displayed developmental improvement in motor skills
  • 88% displayed developmental improvement in literacy skills
  • 89% displayed developmental improvement in communication skills
  • 90% displayed developmental improvement in cognitive skills

Of the parents/caregivers who participated in United Way-funded support for children and families programs:

  • 98% improved communication with their children
  • 97% improved their physical relationship with their children
  • 97% improved their emotional/bonding relationship with their children
  • 94% learned positive ways to deal with stress
  • 91% decreased their stress
  • 97% learned more positive caregiving/parenting skills
  • 98% used the skills they learned from the program
  • 97% were able to control their anger
  • 95% increased their positive interactions with family and friends
  • 92% increased their overall health

Community Coalitions, Collaborations, & Partnerships

Youth Development

United Way is increasing the number of children who: read proficiently by third grade, are on track to advance to the next grade level, develop resistance skills, increase school engagement, have goals and aspirations, graduate high school on time, and are prepared for success in college, work, and life.

Initiatives We Lead

Helping Kids Succeed - Waukesha Supports educators, increases student achievement, and enhances family stability and empowerment in the School District of Waukesha's highest-need schools.

Milwaukee Community Schools Partnership - Transforms schools and communities to collectively ensure student success.

Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington (WOW) Counties Partnership Schools - Allows for deeper investment in select schools with a higher than community average number of students and families living at or below the poverty line. Working directly with school staff to support the specific needs of that school. 

Our Impact

Of the children ages 6-11 who participated in United Way-funded youth development programs:

  • 96% have goals and plans for the future
  • 93% have plans for the next year
  • 97% tried their best in school
  • 93% finished their homework on time
  • 96% went to school each day (unless they were sick)
  • 96% improved on believing that it matters to do well in school
  • 97% improved on being on track to go to the next grade level
  • 95% improved on believing they could make a difference in their community

Of the children ages 12 and older who participated in United Way-funded youth development programs:

  • 93% improved on trying to do their best in school
  • 81% improved on completing their homework on time
  • 87% improved on attending school each day (unless they were sick)
  • 89% improved on understanding why it is important to perform well in school
  • 86% improved on setting goals and plans for the future
  • 87% improved on planning to go to college or some other school after graduation
  • 90% improved on being on track to graduate from high school 
  • 84% believed they could make a difference in their community
  • 85% volunteered in their community
  • 86% were able to resist pressure from others who try to get them to do things they don’t want to do

Community Coalitions, Collaborations, & Partnerships

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Initiatives

two men and a woman in a school hallway

Milwaukee Community Schools Partnership

Transforms Milwaukee schools into places where students, families, staff, and the surrounding community can work together to ensure every student is successful.

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two girls with backpacks in front of a school bus

Backpack Coalition

Help children participate and succeed in school by providing backpacks and supplies.

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students at desks

Helping Kids Succeed

Supporting school-based programs that enhance academic and social-emotional learning in Waukesha County.

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Stories

Sherlean is a Graduation Plus student.

Education: Sherlean and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee

Sherlean wanted to go to college and when Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee gave her the option to go without student loans, she jumped at the chance.

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Kathy at Parents Place, Inc.

Education: Parents Place, Inc.

Parents Place in Waukesha recognizes the needs of families and provides support to them through some of the most challenging times.

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Susie and Joaquin

Education: St. Joseph Academy

When Joaquin walks through the doors of St. Joseph Academy, both he and his mom, Susie, know that they have stability.

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Education: Clare

A lifelong Girl Scout, Clare built the confidence she needed to pursue her dreams through United Way-funded programs.

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Education: Gabe

Gabe struggled with behavior issues but got the help he needed through two United Way funded partners.

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Education: JB & Diego

At YMCA Day Camp, supported by United Way, Diego proudly supports JB as he becomes a role model for others.

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Education: Madeline & Susie

Through United Way partner Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ozaukee County, Little Sister Madeline has a fun and supportive mentor in her "Big," Susie.

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Financial Stability: Beth & Scott

After Beth and Scott lost their Waukesha home, United Way partner American Red Cross helped them get back on their feet.

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Health: Aaron

Aaron has his dream job working in healthcare and gets the support he needs to succeed from United Way-funded Portal, Inc.

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Health: Nina

After suffering with domestic violence for years, Nina and her children found support and healing at United Way partner The Women’s Center.

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Health: Nurse Rosa

Nurse Rosa offers compassionate, culturally sensitive care to every patient she sees at Waukesha Free Clinic, a United Way program partner.

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Health: Santana

Santana, a mom of four, loves to brings the whole family to Community Smiles Dental, a United Way program partner.

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Reducing Barriers to Employment: Henry

With support from JobsWork MKE, a United Way partner, Henry found a job he enjoys and is well on his way to reaching his goals.

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Safe & Stable Homes: Sasha

After losing her fiancé suddenly, United Way partner Family Promise of Waukesha County helped Sasha’s and her family stay in their home.

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Community Schools: Nora

As a community school coordinator supported by United Way, Nora forges partnerships to ensure success for students.

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Education: Bertha

With help from YWCA, Bertha achieved her high school equivalency and found purpose in a job she loves.

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Education: Daisy

Daisy loved participating in Milwaukee Christian Center programming as a young teen.

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Education: Matt

Curative Care helped Matt transition into adulthood, find a job he loves, and explore his passion for giving back.

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Health: Judy

Born with vision impairment, Judy struggled until Vision Forward got her the support she needed.

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Parent Support: Nafahat

New mom Nafahat felt overwhelmed until she got support from this United Way partner.

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Education: Fardowso

PEARLS for Teen Girls supports young women like Fardowso as they explore careers and build their identities.

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Education: Iris

With support from a United Way partner, Iris achieved a lifelong dream.

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Helping Kids Succeed: Mr. Massis

Second grade teacher Mr. Massis sees the value of United Way-funded programs for his students.

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