BOUNTIFUL – United Way has come a long way from being a “collection agency” to assist nonprofit human service agencies.
One way is to positively help challenged children and their families succeed in school.
“The kind of collective impact work we are doing, changing the odds of success in school and in life for children and families, has brought together a diverse group of partnerships,” said Jim Young, Davis County director for United Way of Salt Lake.
The most visible example of that is at the Community Learning Center at Wasatch Elementary School in Clearfield.
He praised the results of collaboration with the Davis School District, AmeriCorps literacy Initiative, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah, Community Nursing Services and Davis Behavioral Health.
Also involved are the Family Connection Center, Midtown Health Clinic, and the Earn It, Keep It, Save It Coalition.
“These partners do not care who gets the credit. They care about changing outcomes over the long term,” said Young, who serves his community of Farmington as a member of the city council.
He called the results “extraordinary” in terms of school readiness, reading at age and grade level, graduation rates, advancement to technical training and college.
The partnership at Wasatch also provides health care and healthy lifestyle choices, financial and computer literacy and language skills training through such programs as English as a Second Language, Young said.
Working closely with such families makes it easier to identify basic needs, such as food, clothing, health screening, immunizations, vision testing and more, he said.
“Because of these compelling results, and the need to sustain these efforts over longer periods of time beyond the capabilities of our traditional annual employee giving campaigns, some corporate and individual givers have stepped forward with substantial investments,” Young said.
He thanked such corporate support for helping make a difference in the community.