Move the Middle

About Move the Middle

Move the Middle is a bold initiative ensuring every middle schooler is on track to graduate.

Did you know?

33% of our area 9th graders aren't on track to graduate.

Dropouts ...

  • are ineligible for 90% of the jobs in America
  • are twice as likely as graduates to live in poverty
  • are three and a half more times likely to be arrested
  • are eight times more likely to be incarcerated

Middle school is a pivotal point in life — complex and stressful

The transition to middle school is a complex time for students, often associated with a decline in academic achievement, motivation, and self-perception. As children begin getting off track, whether academically, socially, or emotionally, it's highly unlikely they will ever recover without intervention.

Research has shown that in order to alter the path of a student who is likely to become a dropout, you must identify that student and offer them assistance as early as in their middle school years.

We are now in our third year of Move the Middle and in our first year since expanding into a second area middle school. Move the Middle, our Achievement Advocates, and our Early Warning Response System are now being utilized in Lincoln Middle School and RESA Middle School — serving 2,000 students and, thanks to your support, there's further expansion to come.

We are removing barriers, getting students back on track

United Way Achievement Advocates review students' ABCs — Attendance, Behavior, and Course performance. They also analyze their social, emotional, and learning data to determine off-track students.

Based on that information, we can put the appropriate interventions in place to get students back on track. That includes working with other agencies to provides supports such as grief counseling, tutoring, anger management, and more.

United Way is uniquely positioned to connect students and their families to the agencies and supports necessary to give them the opportunity to thrive and be successful.

The Early Warning Response System is ensuring no students fall through the cracks

The Early Warning Response System recognizes students who are struggling with one or more dropout indicators, and then alerts our Achievement Advocates who assist those students with getting back on track.

Learn more

Now more than ever, middle schools need United Way

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, middle school students face even more challenges.

  • Students may be returning to school with symptoms of PTSD.
  • More middle school families are experiencing unemployment, food instability, and evictions.
  • COVID-19 is greatly impacting academic success of middle school students.

With just a small donation, you're making a difference in a student's life

You’re not just making a donation, you’re helping a middle schooler thrive. Our goal is to ensure every middle schooler is on track to graduate and with your help we will make that happen.

For example:

  • a $50 donation provides grief or trauma counseling to a student struggling with the loss of a loved one
  • a $75 donation provides five tutoring sessions for a student failing math or reading
  • a $100 donation provides mental health counseling to a student struggling in class
  • a $125 donation provides five one-on-one tutoring sessions for an English as a Second Language student

Together, we are creating a brighter, stronger, and more successful Rock River Valley. Thank you!




Learn more about how Move the Middle is making a difference by reading Dominic's story. On the brink of becoming a dropout, Dominic is now on the path to reaching his full potential.