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Early Childhood Development
Early Grade Excellence
Strengthening Families
Basic Needs & Support Services

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The best way to create a thriving community is by making an early investment in our children. When children
succeed, communities succeed. We also know that, especially for young children, their success is determined
by the stability, love and support of their families.

We envision a compassionate, vital community where people have the education, resources and opportunities
to achieve their potential. To achieve this, we've focused in on some specific areas that will help our children and
families succeed.

The average low income child recognizes nine letters in the alphabet by age 5 compared to their middle-class peers who average 22 letters.

Those who start behind, often stay behind.

61 percent of low-income children have no children’s books at home.

Low-income students lose an average of more than two months in reading achievement in the summer, while their middle-income peers tend to make gains in reading.

One in four Pierce County third graders is not reading at grade level.

Those who don’t read at grade level by age 10 are six times more likely to drop out of high school.

One in four children in Pierce County is hungry.

Economic Return on an Investment in Education Providing quality early learning is a key factor in attracting skilled workers and new business to Washington State. READ MORE


Our Focus

Early Childhood Development: Ensure that all our children are physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively ready to participate and learn in school.

Early Grade Excellence: Ensure that all our children receive the support they need to perform at or above grade level by age 10.

Strengthening Families: Help families provide a stable     and nurturing environment for their children to achieve the above goals.

Additionally, United Way of Pierce County will also continue to support programs that provide Basic Needs and
Support Services
for our most vulnerable citizens. Approximately 30 percent of our funding will be invested in
this area.