Education

Education – Helping Children and Youth Achieve Their Potential

Education is the cornerstone of individual and community success.  It is essential to getting and keeping a job with a livable wage and health benefits.  And, it is fundamental to a community’s economic prosperity: a well-educated workforce attracts world-class jobs!
The first three education focus areas build toward high school graduation, a major milestone on the path to successful adulthood. Over their lifetime, high school graduates earn 74% more than those who drop out. High school graduation is the single most powerful predictor of whether a young person coming from generations of poverty will break the cycle.

Enter School Ready to Succeed

Children learn best in loving, nurturing relationships and through everyday experiences. These essential connections hard-wire the brain for future learning, especially in the early years. Whether children are at home, with relatives or friends, or in childcare, the quality of early experiences is key to later school success.  The United Way of Southwest New Mexico supports programs with initiatives to improve the quality of childcare, family support, early intervention and public awareness activities to equip parents to make the best choices for their families.

Early Grade Reading

The ability to read, write and comprehend written information is essential to success in an academic environment and many children who have not achieved a proficient level by grade four find themselves left behind as their curriculum advances.  The United Way of Southwest New Mexico supports this initiative by working with area programs that provide reading and literacy opportunities for younger children such as free book and reading programs.

Make a Successful Transition to Middle School

Middle school is where the rubber meets the road.  Many disadvantaged children begin to fall behind; greater levels of truancy and behavior problems lead to out-of-school suspension.  Fewer than 2 in 10 eighth graders are on track for college-level work.  This means than 8 in 10 students will not have the knowledge and skills in order to succeed in high school. Research shows that students’ readiness for college and career can be boosted with focus on middle school activity. The United Way of Southwest New Mexico supports local programs that are working on these important middle grade transitions.

High School Graduation

 The first three education focus areas build toward high school graduation, a major milestone on the path to successful adulthood. Over their lifetime, high school graduates earn 74% more than those who drop out. High school graduation is the single most powerful predictor of whether a young person coming from generations of poverty will break the cycle.  United Way of Southwest New Mexico supports local programs that focus on ensuring that all youth graduate high school on time and prepared for college, work and life.

College Completion and Career Readiness

Post-secondary education and career readiness encompasses a wide range of experiences – including but not confined to education at community colleges and four-year colleges and universities, military training, technical training and apprenticeships. It’s clear that high school is not enough anymore, for anyone who wants to earn a living wage. But what may not be widely known is that few students are graduating from high school prepared for college. Only 34% of seniors who graduate are ready for college. About half the students who go to college end up taking at least one remedial math or English class that doesn’t count toward a degree or credential. As is the case all along the education continuum, the numbers are even grimmer for students of color and from low-wage families – for college preparation, enrollment and completion. United Way of Southwest New Mexico and community partners work to offer a pathway to improved education and career opportunities.