United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley knows that children who read at or above grade-level are more likely to succeed in school and in life. In third grade, students transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Beginning this September, United Way launched Read United to pair community and corporate volunteers with third graders to help get them on track with grade-level literacy.
We have selected Mount Olive Intermediate School in Fort Mitchell (less than 15 minutes from Uptown Columbus) as our first site. This program began the week of September 5th and the first session ends mid-December.
Want to learn more? All it takes is one hour per week. Or, partner with a volunteer buddy and commit to reading alternate weeks. Each volunteer will read to two children during the weekly one-hour session. The key qualifications for this volunteer role are:
- Desire to help children learn
- Schedule that allows volunteering during the work day (9:00am-noon)
- Be able to commit to one hour per week (or partner with a buddy)
- Be consistent (children are counting on their volunteer)
If you are interested in volunteering or want more information, complete the form below or contact Jennifer at (706) 327-3255 ext 211 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attendance Awareness month is a nationwide event recognizing the connection between school attendance and academic achievement. But the importance of attendance and its impact on school success doesn’t stop in September, it is critical throughout the entire school year.
Who is Affected
Kindergarten and 1st grade classes often have absenteeism rates as high as those in high school. Many of these absences are excused, but they still add up to lost time in the classroom.
1 in 10 kids in kindergarten and 1st grade are chronically absent.
2 in 10 low-income children miss too much school and are likely to suffer academically.
2.5 in 10 homeless children are chronically absent.
4 in 10 transient children miss too much school when families move.
Why It Matters
If children don’t show up for school regularly, they miss out on the fundamental reading and math skills and chance to build a habit of good attendance that will carry into college and careers. Studies show that those who were chronically absent in kindergarten and 1st grade are far less likely to read proficiently at the end of 3rd grade.
What Can We Do
Engage and Educate: Many parents and students don’t realize how quickly early absences can add up to academic trouble. Community members, partners and teachers can educate families and build a culture of attendance through early outreach, incentives and attention to data.
Fix Transportation: Lack of reliable car or missing the school bus can mean some students don’t make it to class. Schools, transit agencies, and community partners can organize car pools, supply bus passes or find other ways to get kids in school. United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley’s 2-1-1 service can provide you with local transportation information for free, 24/7.
Address Health Needs: Health concerns, such as asthma and dental problems are one of the leading reasons students miss school in early grades. Schools and medical professionals can work together to give children and families health care and advice.
Track the Right Data: Schools too often overlook chronic absence because they track average attendance or unexcused absences, not how many children miss too many days for any reason. Below are some resources for free data-tracking tools: