United Way of Snohomish County Programs
Through quality early learning programs; health and development programs; and support for parents, teachers and childcare providers, United Way’s early learning initiative has helped more than 7,000 children enter kindergarten more likely to succeed to date. Want a great return on your charitable investment? Every $1 our community spends to help children from birth to age five grow, develop and learn returns up to $16 in savings during their lifetime through reduced crime, improved graduation rates and a stronger workforce.We all win when a child succeeds in school and life.
Financially Stable Families
United Way's goal is to move families from reliance on social programs for basic needs such as food, shelter and healthcare to greater independence. We fund 30 programs that focus on areas such as job training and affordable housing. United Way led initiatives also include a free income tax preparation program to help working low income families claim tax refunds, financial education classes, a matched savings program and others that build self-sufficiency.
We envision a community where all residents are engaged, connected and supported, including seniors and those with special needs. Community-wide programs such as the 2-1-1 helpline direct people to the right source for help and, in 2011, our Volunteer Center connected 2,700 volunteers to more than 150 agencies that needed help.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Washington teachers say that 56% of children who enter kindergarten are not ready to learn. Those who start behind generally stay behind. In 2010, 25% of 3rd graders did not meet the Washington State standards in reading.
The good news is that, since 2008, more than 2,200 children birth to age five have enrolled in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a program through which United Way sends free books each month to build literacy. Families report reading together more and a greater love of reading in their children.
United Way also uses a nationally-acclaimed assessment to develop social and emotional strengths in infants, toddlers and preschoolers. In the past eight years, United Way has served 7,000 children with an overall demonstrated improvement of 38%.
In addition, 2,000 adults have been trained to help provide youth with the key opportunities and relationships they need to succeed in life.
United Way also funds grants for:
- Accessible, affordable and quality childcare
- Physical, social and academic development in children and youth
- Services for children and youth in foster care, mental health