Our Work

Youth Success

When you support United Way, you’re helping to ensure young people graduate high school on time prepared for college and career. Together with our partners, we offer children access to quality early learning programs as well as extended school day and summer learning opportunities.


We invest in programs and initiatives that identify and address developmental challenges and connect children and youth with opportunities to gain academic skills. We’re also working to support community-wide systems for academic skill development.

Campaign for Grade-Level Reading:  Nationally the Campaign for Grade Level Reading (GLR) is a partnership between schools, municipalities, businesses and community organizations to rally behind a coordinated effort to ensure children are reading on grade level by the end of third grade. This critical milestone marks the time when students transition from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’ and is an important predictor of on-time high school graduation. Locally, our United Way is serving in a leadership role to support GLR campaigns in Hartford and New Britain (known locally as The Coalition for New Britain’s Youth). Campaign strategies include: promoting school readiness (ensuring children are ready for kindergarten) and consistent school attendance (children cannot learn when they are not in school) and preventing summer learning loss (helping children stay on track academically over the summer).

United Way Literacy Kits:  Helping to build children’s libraries at home and in the classroom. A United Way Literacy Kit is comprised of a book and a collection of related props, games or other activities designed to make reading interactive and enjoyable for both the child and the reader. Contents of the Literacy Kit help bring the book to life for the child and deepen the reading experience. So far, thousands of children have received United Way Literacy Kits created by workplace volunteers across our region.

United Way Readers:  United Way Readers matches a caring volunteer with a student who is behind in reading. United Way Readers understand the importance of investing in a student’s future; as the relationship develops we see volunteers starting to read more books connected to the interests of students and students come to see that reading is a big part of accomplishing their hopes and dreams.

Community Schools:  The ‘community school’ model focuses on improving student learning, strengthening families and building a healthier community. Non-profits and schools partner together to integrate services to provide for students and their families. The model allows the neighborhood school to become a hub for everyone, as a place to receive a wide range of services, as well as a friendly place to gather and get to know your neighbor. Examples of services at community schools include physical and mental health services, in-school academic supports, free, healthy meals, parent and family engagement opportunities and after-school and summer programming.
United We Read
United WE READ is a campaign dedicated to providing the tools and resources for young children to read at grade-level by the end of the third grade brought to you by United Way and its partners.