February 8, 2016
That was the plea from United Way President & CEO Mary Lou Young and other members of Milwaukee Succeeds who spoke to Wisconsin State Assembly lawmakers on the importance of investing in good quality programs to ensure all children are ready for kindergarten and reading proficient by 3rd grade.
The lawmakers, who are members of the State’s Task Force on Urban Education, also heard from Milwaukee Succeeds Goal 1 lead Tim Coughlin who used his own personal experience as a father to stress how critical it is that public officials take actions to promote equity for all kids in our state.
“When my wife and I had our first child it took a network of supportive friends, family members and professionals to help us navigate this new responsibility, and we both have backgrounds in childhood development. To make such a network of support possible for all families and children regardless of race, income, education or geography, we need to establish and support policies that are in line with the latest research and respectful of a child’s development,” said Coughlin.
He went on to state the success Milwaukee Succeeds programming has had thus far, and future goals of the United Way initiative. Since 2013, more than $1.5 million has been raised to promote the work of Milwaukee Succeeds, with an emphasis on Kindergarten Readiness.
United Way, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Northwestern Mutual Foundation, Bader Philanthropies, and Herb Kohl Charities have formed a philanthropic partnership to fund programs and strategies aligned with the vision of Milwaukee Succeeds. “Together, we will invest a total of $5 million over the next five years to ensuring better early life, education and employment outcomes for individuals in Milwaukee,” said Young.
Milwaukee Succeeds Executive Director Danae Davis and MPS Superintendent Darienne Driver also testified in front of the Task Force.
Read more about the hearing.