Early this year, the United Way of Graham & Greenlee Counties (UW) engaged education officials, teachers, parents, civic organizations, and community leaders in order to learn about the education priorities across its two county region. The process included focus groups, panel discussions, and individual interviews, along with a review of the counties’ overall educational performance and state-wide “best practices” for grant-making organizations in education. As a result, United Way adopted five education objectives:
- Improving school readiness for every child
- Supporting efforts to ensure every student reads at grade level – especially by third grade
- Increasing student access to quality transitional programs
- Supporting community and school district efforts with teacher retention and recruitment
- Providing direct support to teachers in the classroom by helping to cultivate innovative learning environments and approaches
As of September 1, these objectives will guide UW funding in education (funding for health and income priorities remain unchanged). Those seeking grants from UW to address educational challenges in our communities should ensure that proposed activities support one or more of the five objectives.
The UW believes it will be an even better steward of the generous contributions received from the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation, FMI employees and other donors by targeting education resources toward specific community objectives. These objectives will help UW focus on results, build strong partnerships that enhance outreach and leverage resources, and better serve the communities of Graham and Greenlee Counties.