Prepare Children to Succeed

Prepare Children to Succeed

Anyone working to improve education understands that its a cradle-to-career undertaking. Education starts at birth, and children learn wherever they are. 

As we begin our work this collaborative approach allows us to partner with multiple organizations all working toward one goal of ensuring kids are successful in school and in life by focusing on critical points in their educational journey. United Way invests in Education

This comprehensive approach ensures we are investing in complimentary programs that eliminate gaps and duplication in services.

Education Collaborative Strategy

United Way of Cass-Clay has a strong history of leading education initiatives in our communities. By funding programs like Imagination Library we support our children as they learn. These investments represent an important step toward the next iteration of our model where we will bring together partners to support action on root cause education pro

blems in our community. As many in our business community have realized, our areas future economic prosperity depends on addressing these needs. We look forward to working with our partners to build a brighter future for our children.

Why High Quality Early Childhood Education


  • A study of low income children discovered that those enrolled in an early childhood education program were much more likely to graduate from high school (65% vs. 45%). (The Center for Public Education) 
  • In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson supported the Head Start program as an action taken in the nation defense because too many young Americans could not pass the militarys basic skills entrance test. (Kids Count 2010)
  • According to Gen. Stanley McChrystal, one of our greatest national security threats is our nations dropout crisis. Young people who do not complete high school cannot serve in the military. This, combined with legal problems, obesity, and other physical issues, leaves only
    about one third of our population eligible for service.
  • A study of North Dakota needs conducted by USDA Rural Development and several partners cites early childhood education as a key investment for our future. (USDA Rural Development)
  • Research shows that 90% of a child’s brain development occurs by age five and that investments in quality early childhood programs can have a $17:1 return on investment
  • School readiness assists children at the kindergarten level to avoid falling behind their peers or struggling to achieve success in school

Why Out of School Programming

  • Minnesota and North Dakota rank in the top three for states with both parents in the labor force
  • Reading proficiently by the end of third grade is a crucial marker in a child’s educational development. Failure to read proficiently is linked to higher rates of school dropout, which suppresses individual earning potential as well as the nation’s competitiveness and general productivity. (Sources http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables and http://www.aecf.org/resources)
  • 9,152 children were involved in out of school programming in across 10 partner programs
  • 60% of children involved in afterschool programs demonstrated age appropriate skills and knowledge
  • 89% of children involved with reading tutoring programs were reading at grade level after being involved with the program

Why Parent and Family Education

  • Parents and primary caregivers have the most influence on children’s language and literacy development.
  • Language and literacy development begins before birth and gaps in achievement appear well before Kindergarten. (Sources http://www.nga.org/files/live/sites/NGA and   http://heckmanequation.org)
  • Investments made in parent education showed a 60% decrease in disruptive behaviors, a 30% increase in educational attainment for the parents.
  • 89% noted it increased their knowledge of healthy parenting and 82% indicated it influenced their relationship with their child positively.

  • Children that participated in Imagination Library consistently showed higher levels of early literacy than non-participants.