Issue: In Central Georgia, there is a pressing concern regarding students' reading proficiency by the time they reach third grade. 44% of students are not reading on grade level at this critical stage of their educational journey. This alarming statistic highlights a significant challenge in our community, as many children are not developing the essential reading skills necessary for their academic success and future growth.
UWCG's Role: United Way of Central Georgia plays a vital role in addressing the reading proficiency gap through Read United, a comprehensive literacy program that harnesses the power of volunteerism. This initiative combines school-based grade-level reading support with a structured tutoring model, creating a nurturing and effective learning environment for students. Tutoring occurs during the school day within a designated time block, ensuring that students receive the necessary support without disrupting their academic schedule. Moreover, students work with the same dedicated volunteer throughout the academic term, fostering a strong bond and personalized learning experience. To enhance students' progress, Read United utilizes Reading A-Z leveled reading support material, catering to individual learning needs and promoting a love for reading.
Impact: The impact of United Way of Central Georgia's efforts is transformative, as we strive to empower students and set them on a path to educational achievement. Among the success stories is Read United, where an impressive 76% of students participating in the program have shown remarkable progress. These young learners improved their reading scores by 50% or more, a testament to the effectiveness of the program and the dedication of our volunteers. Through Read United's two tutoring-based programs, AARP Foundation Experience Corps and Read2Succeed, our community volunteers work passionately to close achievement gaps, increase graduation rates, and break the cycle of poverty. With their unwavering commitment and dedication, these volunteers are making a significant and positive impact on our community, one young reader at a time.