From Cradle to Career
Academic Success: Getting it Right from the Start
A healthy beginning to life is a major determinant of early childhood development and later success in school. That’s why our work in Education is focused directly at school readiness and improving early-grade literacy. When kids are ready for kindergarten and are reading proficiently by the end of third grade, they are more likely to graduate from high school.
We work to ensure that all San Diego children:
- Enter school ready to succeed
- Read proficiently by the end of third grade
- Are ready for college or career
- Are surrounded by stable families with the tools for success
By supporting children and their families, we ensure San Diego children emerge as successful, productive participants in our community. And it doesn’t start in the classroom! Parents are children’s first teachers.
Early Means Early
In fact, at United Way, we believe you can’t start early enough. That’s why we say cradle to career, and we mean it.
The early years are essential to develop the emotional and learning skills that help children succeed in school and life. Promoting and developing these skills, while strengthening and supporting family stability, are critical to improving long-term outcomes for students and their families.
These foundational skills are not only important for a successful transition to school, but for later academic achievement and social adjustment as well. Unfortunately, many young children are not developing strong levels of these skills, and that’s where United Way comes in.
Every Day Attendance
Every day a student misses class means fewer dollars invested in that school.
Over 58,000 boys and girls were chronically absent from San Diego schools in 2018-19. While parents and schools do everything they can to get students to school on time, families are still challenged by other priorities—like transportation, food insecurity, and livable wages.
United Way’s attendance initiative analyzes what interventions work best so that resources are deployed to the most successful efforts. By using data to highlight these efforts, more chronically absent students are getting to school on time, every day.
Summer Learning Loss
Did you know summer vacation actually reduces childhood learning?
Low-income students often lose ground, compared to high-income students, because they don’t have the same resources. And kids who can’t read well by 3rd grade are four times less likely to finish high school on time.
United Way aligned partners to combat learning loss by collaborating on a summer literacy initiative that included health and reading. Now, not only do the students continue reading over the summer, but 86% maintained or improved their reading abilities!
Over 60% of local jobs require some level of post-secondary education. Studies show that preparation for college or career must begin in high school to ready students for real-world careers. Our students must graduate with the tangible, 21st-century skills they’ll need to be successful in their career of choice.