Giving Children A Jump Start To Their Education

Because of the pandemic, many children in our community are behind in their schooling. High school graduation rates fell in our community last year for the third year in a row and United Way is seeing challenges at all grade levels.

photo by Gwyneth Roberts. 

This year, because kindergarteners and first graders at Lincoln Public Schools have not yet known a normal school year, they were invited to a one week program called Jump Start to Kindergarten, which helps each incoming kindergartener become familiar with their classroom teacher, understand learning routines, and classroom expectations, such as how to gain attention by raising a hand, and how to navigate the cafeteria works. This way, when children enter kindergarten on the first day of school, they have already started to work on the social and emotional skills needed to be a successful student. Children also get a jump start on learning and writing their numbers and letters.  

Students who attended Jump Start met or exceeded their math and writing goals compared to those who did not participate in previous years. 

This was the ninth year that United Way has supported Jump Start at McPhee Elementary School and the fifth year at Campbell Elementary School. And the program has shown it is effective.  

As part of United Way’s ENGAGE.EMPOWER.GRADUATE. initiative, United Way, Women United and Emerging Leaders United have rallied around these two schools.  

We know that learning isn’t just about what happens in the classroom. If a student doesn’t have appropriate support and resources at home, they are going to fall behind. So the ENGAGE.EMPOWER.GRADUATE. initiative focuses on seven key areas including family engagement, mental health and family support, as well as prevention services that build safe home environments.  

The ENGAGE.EMPOWER.GRADUATE. initiative is just one example of how United Way is helping kids in our community with their education. United Way also continues to support before- and after-school programs to help give kids access to enriching activities to further their education. 

There are many more stories of how your support of United Way has made a difference for individuals, families and our community this past year in the areas of Health, Education and Financial Stability. Thank you to our community for continued commitment to advancing the common good.