Alienum phaedrum torquatos nec eu, vis detraxit periculis ex, nihil expetendis in mei. Mei an pericula euripidis, hinc partem.
 

Education

United Way of Southwest Alabama adopts a comprehensive approach to education that spans all the way from cradle to career and beyond. By supporting programs that provide quality education for students of all ages, we are investing in brighter, more secure futures for individuals and families living in Southwest Alabama.

Priorities:
  • Kindergarten Readiness
  • Reading & Math Proficiency
  • High School Graduation
  • College & Career Readiness
Why It Matters
  • 69% of students in our four-county coverage area are not reading proficiently by the fourth grade
  • Children who cannot read at grade level by the end of the third grade are four times less likely to graduate from high school

If every person in Choctaw, Clarke, Mobile, and Washington counties graduated high school, there would be:

8009

fewer people in poverty

4456

fewer unemployed

5.7

percent more dollars in average earnings

What Is Working
  • More than 400 children ages 6 weeks through 5 years received high-quality early learning services on a weekly basis throughout 2016 (Child Day Care Association & Gulf Regional Early Childhood Services)
  • 85% of students participating in the After School Academy in 2016 demonstrated improved reading and math scores (Dearborn YMCA)
  • 97% of mentees in 2016 reported being more confident they will finish high school (Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Alabama)
  • 1,440 students enrolled in the Adult Education Program in 2016 through individualized intake sessions (Goodwill Easter Seals of the Gulf Coast)

Education Collaborations

Attendance Collaborations
Each year, United Way of Southwest Alabama, Mobile County Public School System, and Mobile County Commissioner Merceria Ludgood join a nationwide effort to celebrate Attendance Awareness Month in September and pledge to raise awareness about the value of regular school attendance and focus on reducing absenteeism in the new school year.

Within MCPSS, 3.1% of students, or more than 2,500 students, were chronically absent during the 2013-2014 school year, according to the latest data from Alabama School Connection.

To help promote good attendance, UWSWA and Commissioner Ludgood distribute more than 30,000 flyers with tips for developing good attendance habits to families at every MCPSS elementary school and host Attendance Celebrations to applaud outstanding attendance at Mobile County public elementary schools.

Airbus Foundation Flying Challenge
The Airbus Foundation Flying Challenge is an international youth development program that inspires young people from across the globe to continue their education, find their professional vocation, and realize their dreams through mentoring with Airbus employee volunteers.

In Mobile, the program particularly focuses on character development and STEM activities for children attending Palmer Pillans Middle School. It is implemented in partnership with Mobile Area Education Foundation and the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center.

In 2018, 50 students attending Palmer Pillans Middle School were mentored by 32 Airbus Americas Engineering employees who volunteered their time January through April to attending weekly sessions with the students.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program was designed to encourage reading to preschool children. Each month after a child is registered – up until their fifth birthday – a carefully selected, age-appropriate book is sent to the child’s home.

There is no cost to the family; UWSWA provides the books free of charge. Currently, children living in Choctaw County and Mobile County zip codes 36509, 36582, 36587, 36605, 36610, 36615, or 36617 are eligible.

A total of 585 children were served in Mobile County and together received 5,373 books in 2016. In Choctaw County, 112 children were served by the Imagination Library and 1,218 books were distributed to them last year.

UPDATE:  Due to the popularity of the Imagination Library, we are at capacity for the program and have put a six-month hold on admissions.  Please check back here in July 2018 for updated registration information.

Register your child today!