investments in


The following includes your investments in children and their educational needs in the Midlands community in 2017-2018.

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United Way prioritizes investments in quality early learning and supporting parents’ engagement in their child’s academic success.

Last year, 3,645 parents demonstrated increased knowledge about their children’s development through school readiness and parent engagement.

At Vital Connections of the Midlands, an accredited early care and education program, 93% of children met or exceeded developmental milestones in language studies. That is 10% more than last year.

Calhoun County First Steps to School Readiness Partnership |
Countdown to Kindergarten | $8,700

Calhoun County First Steps to School Readiness Partnership |
Parents as Teachers | $10,000

Fairfield County First Steps |
Countdown to Kindergarten | $6,700

Fairfield County First Steps |
Starling Program | $8,000

lexington County First Steps |
Countdown to Kindergarten | $10,000

orangeburg County First Steps |
Countdown to Kindergarten | $10,000

orangeburg County First Steps |
Early Steps to School Success | $5,000

Reach Out and Read - Carolinas | Latino Family Outreach Initiative | $60,000

Reach Out and Read - Carolinas | literacy in the medical setting | $40,000

Richland Library | The Learning Bridge: Engaged Families, Successful Children | $109,000

Vital Connections of the Midlands | Child Care Centers | $302,000

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United Way believes a strong foundation of reading from early on greatly impacts a child’s success in school and beyond.

The Midlands Reading Consortium (MRC) is a volunteer tutoring initiative targeting pre-kindergarten through second-grade students that aren't reading on grade level. Tutors focus on improving language skills and reading proficiency. This past year, 512 children participated in MRC. Among students who had both fall and spring assessments, the number of children who recorded satisfactory, very good or excellent on various domains of reading generally doubled between fall and spring.

United Way also supported summer reading camps in seven Midlands school districts. The camps focused on mitigating the impact of summer learning loss to help 1,415 elementary students start the next year on track.

In 2017, United Way’s YLS partnered with MRC to create the Be a Book Bunny initiative. YLS distributed literacy bags to over 500 students served by MRC to help children build personal libraries to encourage reading both in and out of the classroom to develop healthy reading habits. The totes contained eight books each plus school supplies.

Midlands School Districts (7) | Summer Reading Camps | $40,000

united way of the midlands | Midlands Reading consortium | $242,361

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United Way thinks every child should have a champion in his or her life that strongly supports education, as well as access to a safe place to learn, after-school activities, mentors, books and summer programs to keep them on track to graduate and have a successful life.

Last year, 2,800 students participated in quality in and out of school time programs.

More than 90% of students demonstrated progress on one or more of the following indicators: grades, improved reading skills or attitude or progressing on time to the next grade.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia | One-to-One Mentoring Improves Student Success | $65,000

Boy Scouts - Indian Waters Council | Scoutreach | $30,000

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands | Literacy Leaders Peer Reading Initiative | $250,000

Communities in Schools of the Midlands | Surrounding students with a community of support so they are successful in school and life | $160,000

EdVenture, Inc. | Club EdVenture | $20,000

Girl Scouts of South Carolina - Mountains to Midlands | Daisy Power Project | $60,000

Homeless No More | Focus on Families | $40,000

Newberry County Literacy Council | Families and Schools Together (FAST) | $46,000

Newberry County Literacy Council | Living Hope Literacy | $20,000

Volunteering with MRC is definitely a great experience. I love working with kids! It’s rewarding to help a kid learn to read better and learn to write better. To see them grow is an awesome experience.
— Brianna, MRC Tutor