In 2008, United Way launched a 10-year initiative to cut the number of high school dropouts in half by 2018. It’s an ambitious goal, but by utilizing our core strengths — a national network, committed partners and public engagement capacity — we can achieve it.
We can’t focus on high school alone. High school dropouts are 12 years in the making, usually starting early childhood education behind schedule. United Way's model focuses on supportive communities, effective schools and strong families — strategies and approaches rooted in research. Tackling the education challenge requires reframing education on a birth to 21 continuum.
Locally, United Way of Linn County focuses on ensuring that children stay engaged and active in extra-curricular programming by providing low-cost childcare, sports scholarships, memberships to Boys & Girls Clubs, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Keeping children focused on learning and involved in postive character building programs will encourage them to do well in school.