United Way’s Youth Success Impact Council Receives $2,000 Grant from Duke Energy Foundation

United Way’s Youth Success Impact Council Receives $2,000 Grant from Duke Energy Foundation

Terre Haute, IN – Duke Energy Foundation is awarding United Way of the Wabash Valley with a $2,000 grant toward their Youth Success Impact Council. This council is working to empower youth to be responsible, reliable, and respectful individuals by supporting resources, programs, and initiatives. With 1 in 5 children in the Wabash Valley living in poverty, they want to help close the achievement gap by assisting more children and families to succeed in school. When more students succeed in school and life, it will help toward the United Way’s bold goal to move 10,000 families out of financial struggles and into stability.

Two of the Youth Success Council’s strategies are to improve attendance rates and expand literacy support for children in kindergarten through 12th grade. These strategies are interconnected:
Chronic absenteeism makes it difficult for students to develop and sustain reading skills, and weak reading skills make schoolwork increasingly difficult and frustrating, lowering self-confidence, and weakening a student’s interest in school. The Council’s plan to break this downward spiral is to offer programs that support literacy development and retention.

The grant from the Duke Energy Foundation will be the first step for the Youth Success Council to help the community develop new comprehensive literacy programs aimed at kindergarten through second grade. These programs will aid students in learning reading fundamentals, but also promote a passion and love for reading. A process for organizations such as libraries, mentoring programs, after-school care, and schools to create and apply for funding for creative programs that will strengthen reading skills of students will be developed and publicized later this summer.

“Duke Energy Foundation supports United Way of the Wabash Valley and their innovative and multifaceted approach to community building,” explained Rick
Burger, District Manager for Duke Energy. “Our grant to the Youth Success Council will provide a seed to build stronger literacy programs across the Wabash Valley with the help of United Way. This will be a project that will help our youth for years to come.”

Dorothy Chambers, Community Impact Staff of the United Way of the Wabash Valley working with the Youth Success Council commented that, “Building strong literacy skills during the kindergarten through the second-grade years is critical to long-term student success. When children have a solid reading foundation it has the potential to open up doors and keep them engaged in learning. We will combine this seed grant with more donor and corporate support to promote that strong foundation for children across the Wabash Valley.”

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United Way of the Wabash Valley is an organization looking to go beyond temporary fixes to create lasting change in our communities throughout our six-county region. By bringing together volunteers, companies, and organizations focused on innovative solutions, we impact thousands of lives every year right here in the Wabash Valley. Our new bold goal is to move 10,000 local families out of financial struggles. For more information, please visit, www.uwwv.org.