Local Education & Youth Literacy

Education is an essential building block for a good life. When children have a positive experience during their early childhood education, community outcomes vastly improve in the areas of educational attainment, employment, and crime reduction.

We are helping children achieve their potential through education by focusing on programs that: prepare children birth to age six to enter kindergarten ready to learn; ensure students are reading proficiently by fourth-grade; and provide after-school and mentoring programs for at-risk youth.


Priority Investment Areas:

  • School Readiness
  • Youth Development
  • Life Skills

See our impact in these areas. View the 2013 Community Impact Report for results.


Focus Highlights:

School Readiness: United Way's Success By 6 school readiness initiative encompasses programs that focus on increasing meaningful family engagement and pre-literacy development. Learn more >

United Way I READ program: This early-grade reading program matches volunteer reading mentors with kindergarten students and helps students achieve literacy goals by fourth grade. Learn more >


Community Program Partners:

Angelic Organics Learning Center, Barbara Olson Center of Hope, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Blackhawk Learning Connection, Boy Scouts of America/Blackhawk Area Council, Comprehensive Community Solutions, Discovery Center Museum, Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois, Goodwill of Northern Illinois, Harlem Community Center, Joyner Neighborhood Resource Center, Ken Rock Community Center, LaVoz Latina, Lydia Home Association, Northwest Community Center, Patriots Gateway Community Center, RAMP, Rockford Area Arts Council, Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling, St. Elizabeth, The Salvation Army, Youth Service Bureau of Illinois Valley