At United Way of the Columbia-Willamette (UWCW) we want to focus on taking action to move kids and families out of poverty. We know we can’t do this on our own.
Recognizing the power of bringing together the right people in the same room, UWCW is working hard to strengthen relationships, increase buy-in, reinforce accountability and make a stronger commitment to enhance our community’s work around a clear, common purpose: moving kids and families out of poverty.
We know that one of the most powerful things we can do for our community is to listen and learn more about the main issues affecting our four county region. In order to achieve this, we strive to provide a platform where community members and organizations with a wide array of interests can meet to share and establish a common agenda, serving as a catalyst for ideas through a facilitated process that fosters strategic and efficient collaboration.
Early Learning Multnomah
We know that children who succeed in kindergarten have already taken an important step toward high school graduation. We know that success in kindergarten can be traced to positive early life experiences. Our vision at Early Learning Multnomah (ELM) is that every child in Multnomah County is prepared to succeed in school and life, regardless of race, ethnicity or class.
To make that happen, we’re focusing on kids ages 0-6, especially children living in poverty and children of color. ELM is co-convened by United Way and Multnomah County. We’re working with a range of partners who share our belief in the enduring impact of a child’s early years. We work together to eliminate racial and social disparities in kindergarten readiness, create opportunities for families and young children to succeed, implement environmental level changes that align programs, systems and funding in early childhood. We also work in communities to spread the word about what services are currently available for kids and make it easier for parents and families to get the support they need to help their kids succeed.
In 2012, United Ways around the world sat down for conversations with community members about building the opportunity to thrive for everyone: what it means, how much opportunity we have and what we need to do so that more in our community can thrive. We were excited to participate in these conversations. Our final report shows a strong commonality in what people all around the world are saying and informs our work breaking the cycle of poverty for children and families in our community.