Blog Home > Archive (July, 2018)

For many months we have been diligently (and somewhat desperately) exploring ways to fund Read to Excel after learning the DeltaCorps grant that launched it last year was being eliminated.

Enter the Kiwanis to the rescue!

After we shared program data and stories of the students’ success at a recent Kiwanis meeting, this kind-hearted group chose to fund Read to Excel in its entirety! We had pared it to the bare bones, cutting it from two site coordinators to one, and reducing the number of students and reading sessions. Now, with additional help from Zonta and Cape Girardeau Rotary we are able to move forward and add back more students and sessions!

Read to Succeed, which also began with a federal grant in 2012, is designed to encourage new readers as they learn this critical skill. Read to Succeed receives significant support from individual donors and the Cape Girardeau Public Schools. Read to Excel was created at the request of many teachers to target older, struggling readers. Although it is an extension of Read to Succeed, we had to create a new program with a new name to meet the grant requirements.

As we move forward, we will roll Read to Excel into Read to Succeed, sharing the name and new logo. Not only is this less confusing for our schools and volunteers, but both programs now include students in kindergarten through sixth grade who read below grade level. We also chose to update the logo to indicate the real beauty of this program: one-to-one tutoring for students from valuable volunteers.

Our donors fund many valuable programs, which we proudly share at every opportunity. We are ‘over the moon’ to welcome both financial and volunteer support from the Kiwanis. Truly, without you this program would not be possible. Schedules for 1:1 tutoring at elementary schools in Cape and Scott City still are being formed, along with the times for Tiger Book Club at Central Middle School. Interested volunteers can still register and provide their preferences for when the schools finalize the schedules. Email Robin.koetting@unitedwayofsemo.org or call United Way at 573-334-9634.

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Last year, over 150 United Way supporters came together to raise $2,500 in less than 30 minutes. The results? Three new local programs that helped nearly 200 area youth.

Boy Scouts of America presented a proposal to donors to start a pack at Jefferson Elementary, where 9 out of 10 students qualify for free or reduced lunch. This $500 grant provided the six participating scout’s registration costs for an entire year of scouting, a troop leader, and many unique experiences to help the scouts grow in the program.

In addition to fulfilling their Bobcat Badge requirements, the youth went camping for the first time this summer, something many had longed to do. Giving back is important to this young group, and they’ve spent the year completing service projects such as cleaning up Capaha Park and sending care packages overseas to our armed forces.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Missouri and Community Caring Council partnered to bring at-risk youth a international experience this summer. The Passport to Summer program connected roughly 115 youth to various community events this summer and to CENET, Cultural Exchange Network.  Students spent several weeks learning about the cultures of different countries, culminating with a small fair to celebrate the traditions of the countries spotlighted in the program.

Voices for Children was the final mini-grant recipient selected by our community investment committee. With their additional $1,000, they were able to start a support group for foster teens about to age out of the system. Leaving high school can overwhelm many students, especially those with no family or financial support.

The group consisted of 22 high school aged youth. Together, they went through financial coaching, developed workforce skills, improved their study habits, and built confidence as they moved into this next chapter in their lives.

United Way continuously utilizes our network of partners to build lasting solutions to the toughest problems. We’re still moved by how much work could be done for area students with just $2,500.

We’re excited to showcase three new programs at our Kickoff this August! As many of you know, the need in our community never stops, but thanks to donors like you, we’re able to make a difference for our friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and peers every day.

We hope to see you at kickoff on August 23rd! Tickets are $30/person or $240/table of 8. This provides 6 seats for your group or company and 2 seats for members of our partner agencies who are excited to share more stories like these. Please RSVP to Kristin via email or by calling 573-334-9634.
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