One of the core areas of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago’s work that you support with your contribution is helping making sure kids enter kindergarten ready to learn and students enter high school on track for graduation. Specifically, United Way focuses on expanding resources for high-quality preschool and home visits and supporting at-risk middle school students and their families with academic resources and after school enrichment programs.
United Way supports 70 partner agencies across the region that provide high quality early education and middle school programming including Changing Worlds (CW) and America SCORES Chicago (SCORES). Our investment allows Changing Worlds and America SCORES Chicago to deepen and expand high school readiness opportunities for middle school students in Chicago’s west side communities. Building on their unique organizational strengths for recognizing students’ interests and affirming their self-identity, CW and SCORES formed the Passport to High School Success Program (PHSS) to strengthen the skills necessary for students’ future educational success.
Through dance, drama and visual art residencies, Changing Worlds fosters inclusive communities within schools to affirm students’ self-identity and enhance cultural awareness, literacy and arts learning. America SCORES Chicago utilizes a soccer, poetry, and service learning curriculum framed in the core values of teamwork, leadership and commitment, which inspires youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students and have the confidence and determination to make a difference in their community.
Through PHSS, 420 students participate in a curriculum designed to support middle school students’ transition to high school. PHSS surveys the academic and social-emotional skills necessary to succeed in high school, promoting 21st century skills such as problem-solving, collaboration, leadership and responsibility. Students also build strong relationships with caring adult mentors and connect across neighboring communities through exhibits, performances, sporting events and workshops. Each year, 5th-8th graders participate in several field experiences to deepen their understanding of the high school environment. Students participate in high school tours and in a high school readiness fair to learn more about high school options, the application process, their learning styles and career interests to be fully equipped to make informed high school choices.
We are proud to partner with Changing Worlds and America SCORES Chicago to give local students the vision and opportunity to succeed. With you, we’re proud to support their work as part of ours to keep kids on track for successful learning, and ultimately, graduation.