Strengthening the path to academic success for children by developing parent advocates, strengthening school-community partnerships, and linking essential resources to serve both parents and children.
We know, however, that families must have stability and safety first before parents can prioritize their child's learning. As Mile High United Way remains on the frontlines of this pandemic, we have seen how families in under-resourced communities have been disproportionally impacted, and how many are struggling to meet their basic needs.
That is why our United for School program has pivoted to focus not only on improving student engagement, but on stabilizing families during this crisis. Through a wraparound approach, we're working with both parents and schools in Metro Denver to ensure kids are ready and able to learn, whether remotely or in the classroom.
of students in Denver and Adams County were chronically absent during the 2018-2019 school year.1
of households making below $20,000 do not have internet access, reflecting a huge barrier to online schooling.
chronic absenteeism is a proven early warning signal for students at risk of dropping out of school.2
1. Denver Public Schools (Sept. 2019); Adams 12 Five-Star School District (Sept. 2019)
2. EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST, 42(4), 223–235
In addition to basic needs assistance, we are strengthening school-community partnerships, developing parent advocates, and bridging the digital divide for low-income families. This comprehensive approach is keeping more students engaged in class, so they can build a foundation for learning and achievement.
3. Strong Families, Strong Schools: Building Community Partnerships for Learning. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, 1994.
The following program strategies are employed at 7 schools across Adams, Aurora, and Denver County school districts. Our Community Advocates have built relationships with over 200 families, helping parents stabilize so they can better support their child's learning.
Through our Community Advocates, we are supporting families' basic needs during this time. This includes direct assistance for rent, utilities, food, medical expenses, mental health services, and transportation.
Our training provides basic skills to parents, with little to no experience with computers and technology, to help them navigate the virtual world and support their child's remote learning. The training includes internet use, online teaching platforms, video conferencing, email use, and more.
We are developing strong partnerships between OST providers and schools to create quality programming, which has been proven to strengthen literacy skills and bolster social/emotional resiliency for students.
Through family engagement strategies that are both teacher and parent led, we are building the capacity of both educators and families to be strong academic partners.
We are providing laptop computers as well as online learning subscriptions and internet cost support to enhance remote learning for students and help parents keep their kids engaged in school.
Many families are struggling to adapt during this time and lack sufficient technology and skills to support their child's remote learning. United for Schools is assisting 150 families in the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea, Thornton, and Aurora neighborhoods by providing laptops, internet connectivity, and digital literacy training for parents to help bridge the digital divide and keep students engaged.
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When you give to Mile High United Way, your dollars do more. We surround Metro Denver with the programs and resources that address today’s biggest issues and help prevent tomorrow’s.
Join Mile High United Way's volunteer team! As a volunteer for our Read With Me program you can help students build confidence, increase literacy skills, and develop a love for reading.