News

United Way 2-1-1 Third Quarter 2014 Report now available for download

United Way 211 Third Quarter Report

(Rockford, Ill. - 10/31/2014) – The United Way 2-1-1 Quarterly Report for Third Quarter 2014 is now available to download. The quarterly report contains information for both Ogle and Winnebago counties during the period of July 2014 - September 2014.

Quick Stats:

  • 944 total calls received between July - September (a 10% increase from Third Quarter)
  • 1,789 total service referrals between July - September
  • Rent and Utility Assistance accounted for 23 percent of all service requests
  • Top unmet need: Free School Supplies (25% of unmet needs)
  • Catholic Charities accounted for 11 percent of service referrals


Download Report >

 

United Way 2-1-1, available 24/7, is an easy to remember three-digit telephone number that connects individuals in Winnebago and Ogle counties with important services and volunteer opportunities. Launched in August 2012, the 2-1-1 phone system offers free information and referrals on a broad range of services, including utility assistance, affordable housing, health resources, job training programs, and Winnebago County government services. All calls are free and confidential and the 2-1-1 network supports multiple languages including Spanish and Manadarin Chinese. For emergency services, callers should call 911.

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October School Readiness Book Title: David Gets in Trouble

David Gets In Trouble

(Rockford, Ill. - 10/09/2014) – This month, over 4,000 pre-k students will receive David Gets in Trouble as part of October's book title for Success By 6® Page Turner Reading Program. The book is part of United Way's school readiness focus that helps children birth to age 6 learn, grow, and enter kindergarten ready to succeed.

In David Gets in Trouble, David always comes up with an excuse when he finds himself in trouble. Soon though, David realizes that making excuses makes him feel bad, and saying "sorry" makes him feel better. Written by David Shannon, this book teaches children the importance of apologizing when they do something to get in trouble.

Each month during the school year, pre-k children receive their very own age-appropriate book selected by early childhood specialists. Children begin to build their personal libraries and parents receive tips on ways to engage their young child in learning at home. Teachers also incorporate activities developed around each book title into their classroom curriculum. Books and materials are provided for English- and Spanish-speaking families.

The Page Turner Reading Program, in partnership with City of Rockford Head Start, The Diocese of Rockford, Harlem School District #122, Kreative K, Montessori and Rockford Public Schools District #205, assists pre-school teachers in developing pre-literacy skills essential for kindergarten readiness. Since the majority of brain development occurs between birth and age five, quality early learning and care programs have a profound impact on lifelong success and support cognitive, social and emotional development.

For more information on United Way's Success By 6® Page Turner Reading Program or its work in school readiness, contact Linda Sandquist by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 815-968-5400.

 

Additional Resources:

English Parent Piece

Spanish Parent Piece

 


United Way of Rock River Valley

United Way of Rock River Valley advances the common good in Winnebago and Ogle counties, creating opportunities for a better life by focusing on education, income, and health. United Way recruits people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change.

New United Way initiative targets two of the region’s most challenged neighborhoods

Paul Logli Strong Neighborhoods

Paul Logli announces the new Strong Neighborhoods initiative during United Way's 2014 Community Campaign kickoff event.

 

(Rockford, Ill. - 09/19/2014) – Two of the region's most challenged neighborhoods have become a focal point of United Way of Rock River Valley's new Strong Neighborhoods initiative, which will direct new services and programs to Ellis Heights and Midtown neighborhoods beginning this fall. The place-based strategy will strengthen United Way's overall effectiveness and dramatically improve the quality of life for the region.

"Our donors and residents are demanding more of United Way's impact on the community," said Paul A. Logli, CEO/President of United Way of Rock River Valley. "We know strong neighborhoods make a strong community, and our place-based strategy will help our children succeed and families get stronger."

The average household income of both neighborhoods is nearly half the $51,581 average in Winnebago and Ogle counties and the poverty level rate is twice that of the City of Rockford. The plan to overcome obstacles such as these in the neighborhoods is holistic, focusing on school readiness and early grade reading skills of the youth in the neighborhood; on the income stability of adults and families in the neighborhood and on the overall health and safety of every resident.

A newly assembled United Way Community Impact Team has already begun work in Ellis Heights and Midtown. The team is, first, listening to the residents and learning about their challenges and aspirations. Next, United Way team members will deepen relationships and build upon existing neighborhood assets. Then, together with community partners and neighborhood residents, United Way will identify solutions, establish measurable goals, and begin to knock down obstacles one piece at a time.

Both neighborhoods will see an increase in programming and services, some this fall and more by the fall of 2015, initiated and funded by United Way. Currently in place is a partnership with the Rockford Housing Authority, YMCA of Rock River Valley, and Youth Services Network to expand an existing Walking School Bus program, which provides an adult-supervised, safe walking route for children attending neighborhood schools. United Way is also adding Ellis and Kishwaukee elementary schools to its I READ volunteer reading mentor program, which helps kindergarten students to read proficiently by fourth grade.

Achieving this plan will require time and the aligned efforts and resources of every individual, organization, and sector in the community. In order to sustain both the Strong Neighborhoods initiative and investments in traditional community programs that support the education, income and health of our region, United Way announced during its recent 2014 Community Campaign kickoff event a five-year effort to raise $30 million in resources.

"Our community challenges are deep but no matter the amount of obstacles, every neighborhood has existing strengths and assets," said Logli. "Working alongside neighborhood leaders, good parents, wise grandparents, dedicated teachers, and local businesses, United Way will build upon those existing assets in the neighborhoods."

For more information on United Way's Strong Neighborhood initiative, contact Linda Sandquist, Vice President of United Way of Rock River Valley by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 


United Way of Rock River Valley

United Way of Rock River Valley advances the common good in Winnebago and Ogle counties, creating opportunities for a better life by focusing on education, income, and health. United Way recruits people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change.

 

Nation’s only daily walking school bus celebrates International Walk to School Day

Rockford Walking School Bus Program

Program Coordinator Denice Smith leads students on the walking bus to Lewis Lemon Elementary School.

 

(Rockford, Ill. - 10/08/2014) – Members of the Rockford Walking School Bus program held festivities for neighborhood families this morning in celebration of International Walk to School Day. The program, which is the only daily, adult-supervised walking school bus in the country, provides a safe-walking passage for students attending Lewis Lemon Elementary School, and enables children to incorporate regular physical activity into their lifestyle. Officials also announced plans for a second walking school bus route in Rockford Public Schools District #205 at Ellis Elementary School.

"We are thrilled to be able to strengthen our community by helping to promote healthier lifestyles and safer streets for our youth," says Tabatha Endres-Cruz, Executive Director, Community Outreach YMCA of Rock River Valley.

In the U.S., International Walk to School Day (www.walktoschool.org) began in 1997 and is expected to include more than 4,000 events across all 50 states. Walkers from the U.S. will join children and adults in 40 countries around the world. Walk to School events work to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion, concern for the environment and building connections between families, schools and the broader community.

Now in its second year, the Rockford Walking School Bus program was designed to provide children within a mile and half of Lewis Lemon School a safe route to school, and to cut truancy and tardiness rates. In its first year, the program decreased tardiness by 52% among participating students in first grade – fifth grade. Program staff also has begun to incorporate what is being taught in the school into their daily discussions along the route.

"The Rockford Walking School Bus has brought the community closer. Residents will make an extra effort to clear snow in front of abandoned homes and they keep an eye out for anything unusual along the route. There is nothing like children to change the mind of an adult, especially parents," says Endres-Cruz.

The Rockford Walking School Bus program is a partnership between the Rockford Housing Authority, United Way of Rock River Valley, Winnebago County Health Department, YMCA of Rock River Valley, and Youth Services Network. The route begins at Rockford Housing Authority's Fairgrounds Valley, and heads west through local neighborhoods to Lewis Lemon Elementary School. The program is also part of United Way's new Strong Neighborhoods initiative, which is a place-based strategy to improve the quality of life for children and families living in Ellis Heights and Midtown District neighborhoods, because strong neighborhoods make a strong community.

"Our community challenges are deep but no matter the amount of obstacles, every neighborhood has existing strengths and assets," said Paul A. Logli, CEO/President, United Way of Rock River Valley. "Working alongside neighborhood leaders, good parents, wise grandparents, dedicated teachers, and local businesses, United Way will build upon those existing assets in the neighborhoods."

For more information on Rockford's Walking School Bus program, contact Tabatha Endres-Cruz, Executive Director, Community Outreach YMCA of Rock River Valley by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . For more information on United Way's Strong Neighborhood initiative, contact Linda Sandquist, Vice President of United Way of Rock River Valley, by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 


United Way of Rock River Valley

United Way of Rock River Valley advances the common good in Winnebago and Ogle counties, creating opportunities for a better life by focusing on education, income, and health. United Way recruits people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change.

 

Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 23 present check in support of community impact programming

Plumbers Pipefitters Local 23

Left-Right: Tim Huff, Paul Logli, Jennifer Beckman, Trisha and Kylee Welte, and Rick Beck

 

(Rockford, Ill. - 09/17/2014) – Representatives from Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 23 presented a check in the amount of $5,465 to United Way of Rock River Valley in support of community impact programming in Winnebago and Ogle counties. Funds were raised through the Plumber & Pipefitters 2014 Golf Play Day event.

Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 23 Tim Huff, Business Agent, and Rick Beck, Business Manager, presented the check to United Way of Rock River Valley's Paul Logli, President/CEO, Jennifer Beckman, Ogle County Director, and Trisha Welte, AFL-CIO Labor Liaison on Wed., September 17, 2014. This is the fourth year in which Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 23 directed proceeds from their Golf Play Day to United Way, totaling over $23,000.

 


United Way of Rock River Valley

United Way of Rock River Valley advances the common good in Winnebago and Ogle counties, creating opportunities for a better life by focusing on education, income, and health. United Way recruits people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change.