Success in life begins with a quality education. And yet, millions of children and youth lack the support they need to strengthen their literacy, stay on track in school, graduate high school and find a career.

We’re fighting to shift the odds so tomorrow’s leaders can build a better foundation today. With an approach to education that spans from cradle to career, we’re ensuring every child gets a strong start in life, teenagers have the tools to learn and grow, and young adults thrive in the job market.

Getting Ready for Kindergarten Calendar

One of the most exciting days for you and your child is the first day of kindergarten. Pocono Mountains United Way's Getting Ready for Kindergarten Calendar features a year's worth of games, activities, and tips to help you and your child get ready for that special day.

Thanks to the generous support of our community and sponsors, 4,000 printed copies of the calendar are available at no cost to households with 3, 4, and 5-year olds in Monroe County, to promote school readiness.

Healthy Start Early Childhood Screening

Supports children’s readiness for Kindergarten and promotes positive outcomes through referral to services where needed.

• 3,253 developmental, vision, hearing, dental and speech screenings provided in Fiscal Year 2021-2022
• 543 children received referrals for additional services – over a 75% increase in referral rate over pre- pandemic baseline

SMILE In-Home Mentoring Program

Supports children and their families - in their home environment - to reach their full potential and enter school ready to succeed.

• 18 children and their families received 480 hours of mentoring in Fiscal Year 2021-2022
• Participating children showed a 30.1% increase on their developmental evaluation and 4.45% increase in evaluation of home environment

Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC)

Tax credit program providing scholarships for children, whose families are income-eligible, to attend high-quality Pre-K through grade 12 schools. The program also supports summer learning for 284 children in grades K-5.

• $103,000 in contributions from the business community
• 30 scholarships awarded for Pre-K-12 and 48 K-6 Summer learning scholarships were awarded

Back-to-School Backpacks and School Supplies

In 2021, we provided 250 backpacks to school students. It was so popular that we increased the number to 500 in 2022. In 2023, we wanted to make it even better. We asked a number of local nonprofit and government agencies how many backpacks they might want to distribute if we could get them. The total was 1,900. What an order! But thanks to the generous sponsors listed below and all of the agencies that want to help get them out to kids, we are collectively getting 2,935 backpacks filled with school supplies into the hands of Monroe County students. What a great display of the power of community!

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