According to 2010 data from Erie Vital Signs, 41% of 18-24 year olds in Erie County had no more than a high school diploma and only 10% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. Research shows that a strong educational foundation leads to better employment opportunities and a more competitive workforce. Higher educational attainment is a direct corollary to higher income, better health, and a host of other factors that make individuals, and communities, more productive.
By 2025, United Way challenges the community to prepare at least two-thirds of our high school graduates to succeed in education after high school.
Education is the key to helping more people in our region become self-sufficient and breaking the cycle of poverty. These programs and initiatives will transform the educational environment by providing services to low-income youth in Erie County that address one (or more) of the following key milestones:
Children are prepared socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually for Kindergarten
Children are proficient in literacy by the end of third grade
Students are engaged in school and hopeful about their futures
Students of all ages articulate age-appropriate career paths
Students graduate from high school on time with a career plan and the skills necessary to be successful in post-secondary education
After a highly competitive process that involved years of research and careful planning, United Way identified nearly 20 local programs and initiatives that are most effective and efficient at achieving measureable results in education among children from low-income families. Visit UnitedWayErie.org/Fundingfor complete information on programs and initiatives currently funded by United Way of Erie County.
How You Can Help
To reach our goal, we need your help. The strategies proven to work are those that connect communities to their schools: parent involvement; literacy volunteers in the classroom; mentors for disadvantaged students; business leaders engaged in early childhood advocacy. Volunteer to help.