Issue: In many low-income communities, children may face challenges in accessing high-quality education and essential resources, which can significantly impact their academic success and future opportunities. The educational disparities based on a child's zip code are concerning and highlight the need for innovative strategies to ensure that every child has an equal chance to thrive in school and life.
UWCG's Role: Recognizing the urgency of addressing educational inequities, United Way of Central Georgia took a bold step in 2021 by launching Community Schools United. This neighborhood-based strategy rethinks public schools, transforming them into hubs for communities. The strategy combines rigorous and relevant educational programs with extended learning opportunities, family and community engagement, and an infusion of essential social services. By partnering with Bibb County elementary schools LH Williams and Burdell-Hunt, UWCG focuses on whole-child well-being to foster a supportive and enriching learning environment.
Impact: By providing children in low-income communities with a high-quality education and comprehensive support, the program has demonstrated success in leveling the playing field and narrowing educational disparities. Emphasizing student academic success, family advocacy, parental engagement, support for school leadership and teachers, and emotional well-being, Community Schools United empowers students to flourish academically and emotionally. Moreover, studies have shown that community schools deliver an impressive social return on investment, with every $1 invested yielding an additional $12-$15 in social value. By investing in the well-being and education of our children, we are building stronger, more equitable communities, where every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential.
Through Community Schools United, United Way of Central Georgia is creating a lasting impact on the lives of students, families, and communities. By breaking barriers and creating inclusive and nurturing learning environments, we are shaping a future where a child's zip code does not determine their success in school or life.