United Way of Greater Topeka receives only Pacesetter awarded in Kansas

2014 Pacesetter bannerUnited Way of Greater Topeka received a national Pacesetter award from the Campaign for Grade Level Reading (GLR) on Friday, June 19.

The only award winner in the state of Kansas, United Way was honored for its ongoing commitment to narrowing the reading achievement gap between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers. Pacesetter winners must show measurable progress on student readiness outcomes, complete rigorous self-assessments and participate in activities to strengthen their work.

Ensuring that more children can read on grade level when they finish third grade is one of United Way of Greater Topeka’s community impact goals. National tests show that two-thirds of U.S. fourth graders, and four-fifths of those from low-income families, are not reading proficiently. Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a milestone on a child’s path to high school graduation and later success because it marks the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Students who have not mastered reading by that time are more likely to drop out of school and struggle throughout their lives.

Much of United Way’s groundbreaking work has been done with the Pine Ridge Partnership and the resulting preschool program. However, UWGT education initiatives encompass not only pre- and early literacy, but also tutoring and mentoring for grade school success and wraparound support for families to keep kids healthy, stable and on target in school.

Your unrestricted investment in United Way’s Community Impact Fund provides the critical foundation for continuing, enhancing and expanding this work in greater Topeka.  Leadership-level donations in particular have the power to boost the reach of UWGT’s education initiatives to the next level, expanding service areas and enhancing programs to lift even more children, families and neighborhoods to new levels of success and achievement.

Thank you for your Leadership investment in 2014 and your support of our impact work.

To read more about the 2014 Pacesetter Awards, go to http://gradelevelreading.net/topeka-ks.