We help children get a strong start in life, start school ready to succeed, and build critical reading skills to equip them for success in school, work, and life.
United Way's educational goal is to ensure that youth gain the knowledge, skills, and credentials so that they are prepared for the workforce and able to obtain family-sustaining employment. The evidence clearly demonstrates this can only occur if a solid foundation has been laid; school readiness is predictive of early grade proficiency which is predictive of graduation.
How do we help?
AmeriCorps Reading Program:
United Way contributions fund the match money needed for the AmeriCorps reading program in three Clinton County School Districts. The program utilizes the latest research on reading intervention strategies and guidance from reading experts to provide struggling readers what they need - individualized, data-driven instruction, one-on-one attention, well-trained tutors, instructions delivered with fidelity, and the frequency and duration necessary for student achievement. Tutors commit to a year of AmeriCorps service, receive rigorous training and ongoing support throughout the year from literacy coaches, and use assesments to ensure their efforts produce the desired results - helping children achieve grade level reading proficiency. Particpants are three-times less likely to be assigned special education than non-participants, thus creating a permanent benefit to children and a significant on-going savings to schools.
Together we ARE making a difference. The graduation rate in Clinton County is increasing!
Without question, it takes entire communities working together more collaboratively than ever before to co-create community-based, comprehensive solutions that support children and students along the education continuum from birth, through elementary school, high school, and career readiness.
A Message From AmeriCorps Volunteer, Samantha Thompson:
I spend my days now, thanks to the AmeriCorps Iowa Reading Corps program, with some wonderful elementary school students in K-3rd grade who are working to become better readers. I could not be more pleased to help them reach their reading goals as an in-school tutor serving here due to a partnership between the United Ways of Iowa and Iowa Reading Corps.
AmeriCorps Week is March 11-17. AmeriCorps was founded in 1994 and provides chances for almost 75,000 Americans to serve our nation within nonprofits, schools, public agencies and other community and faith-based groups throughout our country.
With our AmeriCorps pledge to “get things done for America – to make our people safer, smarter and healthier,” more than 10,000 Iowa residents have served more than 14 million hours since AmeriCorps was founded in 1994.
Service members in Iowa have also qualified for Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards totaling more than $34.57 million since inception.
Given that it’s AmeriCorps Week, I’d like to thank the more than one million other Americans like me who have served their country through AmeriCorps and its community partners. I’m grateful to be in such good company, and I’d like to encourage more Americans to join in serving their country through AmeriCorps.
The opportunity is an honor and a privilege. I am eternally grateful to the United Ways of Iowa for their partnership with Iowa Reading Corps and to AmeriCorps for making my service to this nation, and that of so many other Americans, possible.
Learn more about the AmeriCorps program here:
Clinton Reads promotes literacy through collaboration among various United Way funded and community organizations in Clinton, Iowa and the surrounding area.
Clinton Reads and United Way began the MEN-toring Program for the spring 2018 semester with volunteers visiting first grade classrooms at Camanche and Prince of Peace Elementary Schools. Each child is presented with a copy of the book to take home with them. The program, popular with male volunteers and first graders alike, is designed to promote a love of reading and feature men as positive role models for children. #realmenread
Thank you to Brent Munck and Brian Conzett (pictured above) with LyondellBasell for reading to the 1st graders at Camanche Elementary School for Clinton Reads MEN-toring during DEAR Week! They did a great job, and the kids really loved it!
The men read The Talent Show from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler.
A big thank-you to Dennis Lauver (pictured above) for reading at Prince of Peace Elementary School during DEAR Week!