United Way Works to end America’s education crisis


Education is the cornerstone of individual and community success. But with more than 1.2 million children dropping out each year, America faces an education crisis. The cost? More than $312 billion in lost wages, taxes and productivity over their lifetimes.1 These trends are reversible, but only when communities and public, private and nonprofit sectors work together.

Our Goal

In 2008, United Way Worldwide launched a 10-year initiative to cut the number of high school dropouts in half by 2018. It’s an ambitious goal, but by utilizing our core strengths — a national network, committed partners and public engagement capacity — we can achieve it.

Our Strategy

We can’t focus on high school alone. High school dropouts are 12 years in the making, usually starting early childhood education behind schedule. United Way's model focuses on supportive communities, effective schools and strong families — strategies and approaches rooted in research. Tackling the education challenge requires reframing education on a birth to 21 continuum.

Local Initiatives - What Our Partners Are Doing To Help

Early Childhood Education - Kindergarten Readiness Programs

Pinon Project
Seeds of Learning
Dove's Nest
Southern Ute Montessori Headstart and Early Start
Riverhouse Children's Center
Silverton Family Learning Center
Early Childhood Council of La Plata County


Elementary and Middle Grade Success - Reading, Math,
& Other Academic Skills

Girl Scouts of Colorado
Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Colorado
Boys and Girls Club of La Plata County
Durango Education Center
The Liberty School


High School Graduation - Dropout Prevention

Women's Resource Center
La Plata Youth Services
SOS Outreach


Volunteer to help.

1Figure according to Communities in Schools, one of America’s leading drop-out prevention partnerships.