Middle School Engagement

Attendance and success in middle school are critical in keeping students on track for on-time graduation and preparing them to continue their education after high school or secure a self-sustaining job.

In many ways, middle school represents a period of transition and evolution. It can be difficult for students to remain engaged and persist into high school, especially for students who struggled academically in elementary school, who have experienced trauma or have mental health and/or identity issues. To increase the chances of success, students must have safe school and home environments, positive interactions with adults and peers and feel a sense of empowerment as they mature into young adults.

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Community Updates

Hear from local leaders about their work that supports the Middle School Engagement Step.

What We Do

At United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg, we understand that middle school is a complicated period for all students. There’s no silver bullet to strengthen engagement, which is why we work with a variety of programs in the region to tackle the issue from all sides.

  • Together with VCU’s Mary and Frances Youth Center, we run the Richmond Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI), which ensures out-of-school time programs make elementary and middle school-age students feel safe, engaged and empowered.
  • We convene the RVA Youth Development Network, which brings together professionals from the out-of-school time, youth development and education fields for networking and shared learning.
  • We serve as the backbone of the Petersburg City and Schools Partnership, which works to create the climate and conditions for every student to succeed by providing a sustainable, coordinated system of supports and access.

How You Can Help

  • Donate. Give to United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. Let us know you want your gift to help increase middle school engagement.
  • Volunteer. Want to lend your time to supporting these efforts? Send us an email and we will help match you with the right opportunity. Or visit our Events page to see our existing opportunities.