The latest on what we're up to, most proud of, and inspired by.

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Data-Driven Blueprint

Friday Jul 1st, 2022

By now, you’ve likely heard about Community School Action Plans: the data-driven blueprints designed for each community school as a basis for barrier identification, removal and strategy implementation. Action Plans are completed during a school’s first year in the model and take between 8 and 12 months to complete.

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Blue Coats-Family Edition

Friday Jun 17th, 2022

Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero.” Mr. Rogers 
The Blue Coats are everyday heroes to students at United Way Community Schools in the City of Erie and at Erie High School.
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2022 National Community Schools and Family Engagement Conference

Wednesday Jun 8th, 2022

United Way of Erie County was well represented last week at The Institute for Educational Leadership’s 2022 National Community Schools and Family Engagement Conference in Los Angeles, California. The conference theme, Uniting for Every Child's Opportunity, was both a reminder and a call to action for conference goers.

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Vision To Learn: Finale

Wednesday Jun 1st, 2022

Have you ever seen a child put on a pair of corrective glasses for the first time? The smile and joy are contagious! 
On the other hand, imagine going to school without being able to see properly. Odds are academic success is not going to happen with this impairment.  
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Erie City Moms

Wednesday May 18th, 2022

In 2016, an unlikely group of mothers began to meet on Erie’s Lower East Side. Our goal was to learn and grow with and from one another.

We had little in common on the surface. Black, white, married, single, homeless, homeowner, urban, suburban, GED graduate, college graduate, working, stay-at-home—we could list our differences for days, but every one of us was committed to our families and we all believed that the health and well-being of local mothers was critical to the health of Erie.

That same year, we launched Erie City Moms and hosted our first event at Wayne Park Baptist Church. “Moms Night Out” was free and included dinner, childcare, a woman’s story of hope and healing, community resources and prayer. As word spread, women from across the city and county overcame great obstacles to connect with us. I clearly remember one mom and her friend who walked an hour to and from Wayne Church with their five kids in tow. That is when we began offering transportation to families living within the city limits.
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Teacher Appreciation Week: Thank You!

Tuesday May 3rd, 2022

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 2-6, 2022, and we are celebrating all teachers, instructors and educators past and present. We asked United Way staff who their favorite educator has been and to reflect on the impact they made on their life. Please see the responses below.

Pandemic Learning Loss, PSSAs and United Way's Community Schools

Monday Apr 25th, 2022

In early March, the 2020-2021 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) scores were released to the public, issuing stark evidence of the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our most vulnerable students and schools.

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Imagination Library of Erie County Impact

Wednesday Apr 20th, 2022

A book is a gift you can open again and again. - Garrison Keillor
It sounds almost too simple to be true, but when you read regularly with your children during their first years, you are giving them the biggest boost toward a successful start to kindergarten.

Emergency Food and Shelter Funding

Wednesday Apr 20th, 2022

United Way of Erie County serves as a required member of the Erie County Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) Board. The Emergency Food and Shelter Program was established on March 24, 1983, with the signing of the "Jobs Stimulus Bill," Public Law 98-8. That legislation created the National Board which is chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and includes several social service organizations in addition to United Way. Phased funding has continued the establishment of the EFSP.

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"Outreach to Teach"

Tuesday Apr 12th, 2022

McKinley Elementary, a United Way community school, welcomed more than 150 Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) volunteers through their doors this past Friday, April 8, in support of the “Outreach to Teach” community service project. 
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Vision to Learn

Thursday Apr 7th, 2022

When students can see they can learn.

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National Volunteer Month Feature--Jennifer Schade

Wednesday Apr 6th, 2022

April is National Volunteer Month and at United Way of Erie County, we are grateful to the hundreds of volunteers who are helping to advance our mission to crush poverty in Erie County. Thank you for your commitment to lead by example and to LIVE UNITED!

United Way would like to recognize volunteer Jennifer Schade, Regional Manager at Citizens Bank in Erie, who has been involved with United Way since 2011. She currently serves on United Way’s Community Impact Committee and is a former member of United Way’s Board of Directors. In addition to United Way, Jenn also volunteers on the advisory board for Athena PowerLink, as a business ambassador for Gannon University, and on the planning committee for Moonlight on the Bay, a fundraising event of Crime Victims Center of Erie.
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#ErieUnitedForUkraine Campaign to assist in Humanitarian Crisis

Wednesday Mar 30th, 2022

In the wake of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on February 24, more than five million Ukrainians have fled the country, creating what United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi describes as "Europe’s largest refugee crisis in more than a century."

Today, the two new leaders of The Erie Community Foundation and United Way of Erie County teamed up to launch #ErieUnitedForUkraine in support of the international effort by United Way Worldwide, a multinational effort to direct much-needed donations to United Way organizations in the countries welcoming Ukrainians fleeing the horrors of war.  President and CEO of United Way of Erie County Laurie Root along with President and CEO of the Foundation Karen Bilowith announced the Erie United for Ukraine campaign at a press conference held March 30. 

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2022 Annual Meeting

Tuesday Mar 22nd, 2022

United Way of Erie County is on a MISSION to CRUSH poverty. And, we know the key to ending poverty is education. Join us May 19 at the Bayfront Convention Center to learn more about United Way's efforts to break the cycle of poverty in Erie County.

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United Way of Erie County Women United for Community Schools-Dana Zaphiris Feature

Tuesday Mar 22nd, 2022

Women United for Community Schools is a network of local women investing in transforming the future of thousands of children by directing their financial resources to United Way’s community school initiative. With this strategic focus on community schools, Women United are leading the charge to a brighter future for our children, their families and our community.

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The Digital Divide

Wednesday Mar 16th, 2022

Pennsylvania is one of the top 10 states with the largest populations of K-12 students without adequate internet connection (28 percent) and without adequate devices (23 percent). 


Celebrate Read Across Erie County Day

Monday Mar 7th, 2022

On Wednesday, March 2, schools across the community celebrated Read Across Erie County Day. 

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Laurie Root Kicks Off Women's History Month With This Message

Wednesday Mar 2nd, 2022

While there have been wonderful women leaders of United Way’s Board of Directors, starting with Susan Hirt Hagen as the first in 1987, up until now all the presidents have been men. I am pleased and honored to be the first woman to serve as president, and hope that there are many others following me. However, it is important to me that I was selected based on my experience, skill set and leadership above being the first woman to lead the organization.

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Welcome to the team!

Friday Feb 18th, 2022

At United Way, changing lives is all in a day's work. It's what we call LIVING UNITED. And, that's why we are pleased to announce  we have added the following team members dedicated to our mission to crush poverty in Erie County.

We are excited to welcome Scot, Alycia, Josh and Donnie to our United Way team. Click the link to read more.