Education | United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg
Elementary school aged children playing drums

In Greater Richmond & Petersburg

  • 1 in 6 children ages 0-17 live in poverty. That’s 42,000 young people.
  • 1 in 7 children start school without the literacy skills needed to be successful in kindergarten.
  • 1 in 4 third grade students are not reading at grade level.
  • 1 in 10 high school students do not graduate on-time.

We want our children to succeed, in school, work, and in life.

How do we get there? At United Way, we invest in programs that prepare children for school, encourage their social and emotional development, and help them achieve academically and graduate on-time.

Click through to learn more about our agenda and funded partners below. You can also click here to download our Education Focus Area Investment Prospectus 2015/2016.

What do children need to be ready for school?

  • A safe and secure home environment
  • Nurturing relationships with parents and caregivers
  • Quality early care and education
  • Regular health and developmental screening and supports

 United Way Partners in Improving School Readiness

Community Impact Grantees:

  • Childsavers Virginia Quality Initiative (Funded in Petersburg)
  • Family Lifeline (Funded in Greater Richmond & Petersburg)
  • Friends Association Preschool
  • Southside Child Development Center
  • The Greater Richmond ARC
  • YWCA of Richmond
  • Quin Rivers Agency for Community Action

United Way Initiatives:

  • Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond

What do children & youth need to develop socially and emotionally?

  • Positive relationships with caring adults
  • Quality out-of-school time programs
  • Opportunities for empowerment and positive peer engagement
  • One-to-one, structured, mentoring relationships
  • Mental health counseling

United Way Partners in Developing Youth Social & Emotional Skills

Community Impact Grantees:

  • Art180
  • Childsavers
  • Friends Association for Children School Age Program
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond (Funded in Greater Richmond & Petersburg)
  • The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club
  • YMCA of Greater Richmond (Funded in Greater Richmond & Petersburg)
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Virginia Mentoring Partnership

United Way Initiatives:

What do children and youth need in order to be academically successful?

  • Additional instructional time and academic enrichment
  • In-school case management & wrap-around services
  • Consistent attendance and strong engagement in school
  • Non-traditional graduation programs

United Way Partners in Increasing Academic Success & On-Time Graduate Rates

Community Impact Grantees:

  • Communities in Schools of Chesterfield
  • Communities in Schools of Richmond
  • Goodwill of Central Virginia (Funded in Petersburg)
  • Higher Achievement
  • Peter Paul Development Center
  • Petersburg Health Department

What do parents need to be successful?

  • Education on how to be their child’s first teacher
  • Awareness of developmental milestones and signs of delays
  • Training on how to be successful as foster/adoptive parents
  • Education on how to avoid child abuse/neglect
  • Mental health counseling

United Way Partners in Engaging & Educating Parents

Community Impact Grantees:

  • Children’s Home Society of Virginia
  • Greater Richmond SCAN
  • Sacred Heart Center

What makes a youth program high-quality?

  • Youth feel safe, both physically and emotionally
  • Youth have positive interactions with adults and other youth
  • Youth find activities engaging and relevant
  • In mentoring programs, staff follow best practices for recruiting, screening, training, monitoring and evaluating mentor/mentee relationships

United Way Partners in Improving Program Quality:

  • Richmond Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI) is a year-long quality improvement process for out-of-school-time programs in Greater Richmond & Petersburg. Learn more about Richmond YPQI.
  • Quality-Based Mentoring (QBM), is a year-long quality improvement process for youth mentoring programs in Virginia. Learn more about QBM.

Why is Reading by 3rd Grade so Important?

  • Up to third grade, kids learn to read. After third grade, they read to learn.
  • Kids who are not reading proficiently by 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to not graduate high-school on-time.
  • In the United Way region, 1 in 4 kids is not reading proficiently by third grade. In areas of high poverty, the 3rd grade reading SOL pass rate is as low as 61%, compared to the state average of 75.6%.

Learn more about what United Way does to improve 3rd grade reading.

United Way Partners in Improving 3rd Grade Reading

  • School Districts: Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, Hanover, Goochland, Petersburg
  • Nonprofits: YMCA, Peter Paul Development Center, Literacy Lab, CMoR, Smart Beginnings, Family Lifeline,
  • Universities: VCU Literacy Institute & School of Education, UVA Curry School of Education, Bridging Richmond
  • Libraries: Richmond
  • Foundations: Robins Foundation, Henrico Education Foundation