Agenda for Community Change
Our goal at United Way is to create long lasting impact. We look beyond temporary fixes to attack the root problems affecting the south Mississippi area. It’s work, yes, but it’s also our mission. It’s our calling.
We envision our community where children are born into stable families and supportive environments, start school ready to learn and graduate prepared for college, work and life. When our people can be attheir best, our community can be at its best. That’s good for everyone!
Our community is stronger when children start school ready to succeed, become grade-level readers, graduate and go on to higher education.
2017-19 UWSM Early Learning Vision, Goals and Strategies
Why Focus on Early Education? It's a Root Problem
• A child’s brain is 90% developed by age 5
• A student who can't read on grade level by 3rd grade is four times less likely to graduate by age 19 than a child who does read proficiently by that time. Add poverty to the mix, and a student is 13 times less likely to graduate on time than his or her proficient, wealthier peer.
• Based on March 2014 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school dropouts are nearly three times more likely to be unemployed than college graduates. Even when employed, high school dropouts earn about $8,000 a year less than high school graduates and approximately $26,500 a year less than college graduates.
• 67 percent of inmates in America’s state prisons, 56 percent of federal inmates, and 69 percent of inmates in local jails are high school dropouts.
• The national average for educating a student is $12,643 per year while the annual state average cost to house an inmate is more than double that amount, at $28,323.
Why It’s Critical that the Community Support Efforts Beyond School Time
• According to the first state-wide kindergarten readiness assessment in 2014, 65% of our children were not prepared for school.
• The May 2015 third grade reading assessment showed that 15% of Mississippi children were not reading on grade level.
• 12.8% of Mississippi youth dropped out of high school in 2015
• 85% of jobs will required education beyond high school by 2030
How We're Approaching these Issues