Helping children and youth build a strong foundation today means they'll have something solid to stand on tomorrow. Through quality child care, character development, health care and counseling, mentoring, adoption and foster care, basic needs assistance and more, United Way of Greater Houston gives kids a better chance at success and the opportunity to realize their dreams. KEY CHALLENGES FOR CHILDREN:
1 in 4 children in Greater Houston does not graduate from high school
25% of children in Harris County do not have health insurance
1 in 4 children is left alone after school
Fewer than 50% of Houston's 3rd graders achieve the reading score needed for success in 4th grade
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: When children have a good foundation of education and enrichment activities, they have a much better chance of succeeding as adults.
UNITED WAY MAKES POSSIBLE:Child care • Basic needs assistance • Character development and mentoring • Health care for children • Adoption and foster care • After-school programs
LAST YEAR: United Way touched the lives of more than 461,000 children and young people • 79% of students in United Way programs are more successful in school
Learning to read is one of a child’s most important achievements and greatest pleasures. We know that books can inform, inspire and encourage children to imagine worlds beyond what they know. We also know that, in our community, less than 50 percent of third graders have the reading skills necessary for success in fourth grade—and students who don’t read proficiently by the time they’re in fourth grade typically don’t catch up.
United Way launched Reading Together in 2012 to ensure that kids are reading proficiently by fourth grade. Volunteers read to and tutor students from two local school districts for one hour, once a week. The consistent commitment of United Way Reading Together volunteers makes a real impact on students, helping them improve their reading skills and develop a love of reading. And, volunteers report feeling a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in the knowledge that they made a difference in a kid’s education.