By: Juli Metzger—
Muncie, IN—The United Way of Delaware County, for the second consecutive year and against all odds, surpassed its campaign goal, raising $1.44 million.
The continued success signals the community’s embrace of the bold goal to end generational poverty here. Nearly half of Delaware County households live in poverty or are one crisis away from it. It’s often a vicious generational cycle. These working families face obstacles in reaching health, education, and financial stability.
To conquer generational poverty, UWDC has targeted 2024 for the year all third graders will be reading at grade level – the single greatest indicator of a child’s success in school and life. Campaign contributions, focused on better educational outcomes, are strategically invested in local programs to help put children on a pathway out of poverty.
“By providing children with the early education opportunities they need, we are developing future economic growth, a strong workforce with employee retention, and a more prosperous community for all,” explained Jeff Lang, 2018 Campaign Chair. “This wrap up event is a chance to celebrate the work that’s been done and the progress that’s been made. This could not have been accomplished without the help of numerous community volunteers, United Way staff and the Board. I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to all involved in making this campaign a success.
Also, Ball State University was named the 2018 Volunteer of the Year. The university significantly increased its overall participation and raised $182,000 from faculty, staff and professionals, an increase of nearly 14 percent over last year. With the Ball Brothers Foundation matching up to $75,000 in gifts made by BSU first-time and existing donors coupled with a second matching gift from United Ways of Indiana, the university’s employee campaign totaled to more than $267,000.
UWDC has made huge strides in providing free, educational resources to local families last year. These strides include bringing Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library – program providing children (ages newborn to 5 years old) with a free monthly, high-quality book – to Delaware County residents. There are almost 1,000 children enrolled in the program.
Additionally, UWDC created Reading Clubs, placing passionate community volunteers in after-school literacy clubs. Volunteers share their love of reading, while working alongside the students to improve their reading and comprehensive skills. UWDC runs three reading clubs for third graders at local elementary schools. The interventionist clubs change the trajectory of students’ reading skills early on.
“Statistically 80 percent of children from low-income families are not reading at grade level. Early childhood education can change the trajectory of one’s life. It can end generational poverty,” explained United Way President & CEO Jenni Marsh.
Program video below.
United Way Campaign Wrapup
Posted by Muncie Journal on Tuesday, February 12, 2019
About United Way of Delaware County
United Way of Delaware County, Indiana engages the community to improve lives by focusing resources on education, health, and financial stability. The non-profit fights to create lasting change in community conditions. As the sponsoring organization for the community’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, United Way works to help children read at or above grade level by the end of their third-grade year. It is during this critical time that children transition from learning how to read, into being students who read to learn in order to be successful in school and life. United Way strategically invests in local programs that provide services that contribute to children’s success with reading and ultimately aim to end generational poverty in Delaware County. Learn more at invitedtoliveunited.org.