Quality education is the cornerstone of our new strategic direction. Research shows that a strong educational foundation leads to better employment opportunities and a more competitive workforce. Higher educational attainment is a direct corollary to higher income, better health and a host of other factors that make individuals, and communities, more productive. The third grade reading FCAT scores for Brevard Public Schools reflect that overall 64% of third graders passed, while only 40% of Brevard’s Black, non-Hispanic passed. United Way’s strategies to address this challenge include greater access to books, expanding reading mentoring and reducing summer learning loss.
United Way brought myON, an interactive digital library, to seven schools and it was so successful, Brevard Public Schools expanded the program to nearly all Title 1 schools. Almost 25,000 students have read more than 500,000 books.
There are 102 United Way mentors at nine local elementary schools, as well as eight community sites serving as positive role models for at-risk youth and helping them improve reading skills.
Summer Reading Loss Prevention
In partnership with Brevard Public Schools, we launched the fourth year of a community-wide awareness campaign to keep kids reading over the summer. This campaign consisted of 47,000 summer reading loss prevention kits for elementary students and advertising on television, radio, print and bus wraps.