It’s time to place the emphasis on education that it deserves. United Way enables children and youth to learn, grow and reach their full potential. Education receives 37% of our overall community investment.
Community Partners working this area include:
Aldersgate is improving reading levels of children through after-school and summer programs.
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters addresses school dropout prevention by partnering adult mentors with youth who need positive role models.
Boy Scouts of America, Pine Burr Area Council
Boy Scouting provides character-building and leadership training for young boys, motivating them to stay in school and succeed academically.
Children’s Center for Communication and Development
The Children’s Center at Southern Miss provides early childhood education and family support for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers who have communication and developmental disabilities.
This specialized school offers intensive instruction for children with severe language/speech disorders and/or hearing impairments.
Girl Scouts provides an outreach, in-school program for girls to teach them decision-making and leadership skills.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army operates The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, which combats the high school dropout rate by offering quality after-school and summer programs to disadvantaged youth.
Additional Education Programs
United Way of Southeast Mississippi supports its own education programs as well. These include the Early Development Instrument, which researches kindergarten readiness, and the Excel by 5 early education initiative. Plans are also in place to bring an Imagination Library to our area, which would provide free books to children.
Mercedez is a little girl who loves the color pink. At age two, she began intensive speech and language services at the Children’s Center for Communication and Development. At that time, Mercedez was not using many words, other than the occasional “mama.” She quickly learned some basic signs, but speech was still very difficult for her.
Mercedez continues intensive speech and language therapy, with the hopes that she will one day use verbal speech. For now, she uses her new high-tech “talker,” which is pink, to participate in her preschool group and make beautiful phrases to tell everyone about her upcoming birthday.
Mercedez represents many ways that The Children’s Center provides hope for families by providing a means for effective communication for their children.