Helping Children and Youth Achieve Their Potential
- This past school year, more than 35 percent of low-income students in Bismarck and Mandan were not meeting third grade reading proficiency levels (ND Department of Public Instruction). Research indicates that failure to reach this benchmark makes children four times less likely to graduate from high school on time (American Educational Research Association).
- Economically challenged students in North Dakota are 22 percent less likely to graduate from high school (ND Department of Public Instruction).
- Only 29 percent of youth in Bismarck-Mandan feel they have a positive adult role model (2011 Childhood Needs Assessment of Bismarck and Mandan).
Education is one of the most critical aspects of improving a person’s quality of life. That’s why we're committed to improving the state of education in our community.
United Way’s Education Initiative is a response to local data and partner input. Working with school officials and local nonprofits, we will increase attendance, address issues that prevent educational achievement, and provide youth at risk of dropping out the support they need to graduate on time.
Whether it’s sending weekend meals home with students experiencing food insecurity, providing shelter to those who are homeless, strengthening families, recruiting mentors and tutors for struggling youth, creating a comfortable and safe school environment, or simply reading to children, we’re taking a proactive approach by supporting the first building block to a successful and self-sufficient future - education.
MSA United Way is committed to increasing the number of children who:
- Start school ready to succeed.
- Learn to read by the end of 3rd grade.
- Improve attendance.
- Improve behavior and grades with the help of positive role models, tutors and after-school programs.
- Graduate from high school on time.
How You Can Help
The strategies proven to work are those that connect communities to their schools: parent involvement; literacy volunteers in the classroom; mentors for disadvantaged students; business leaders engaged in early childhood advocacy. This year, we plan to recruit 100 new volunteer readers, tutors and mentors. If you're interested in becoming a volunteer tutor, mentor or reader, visit www.volunteerbisman.com or call 701.255.3601.