Educated children and youth are the future. By helping children build a strong foundation in education and empowering parents to support their learning and development, we can ensure that kids have the skills to be successful in school and in life.

Too many children, particularly those in low-income neighborhoods, are struggling to make it to high school graduation.

At-risk students who do not receive high-quality early childhood education are 25% more likely to drop out of high school and 70% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime. And, without a high school diploma, young adults are 72% more likely to be unemployed as compared to high school graduates. In our region:

  • Only 34% of students in Cook County and 53% of students in DuPage County meet or exceed state standards for reading
  • 13% of 9th graders in Chicago Public Schools are not on track for success in high school
  • 17% of students in Cook County drop out of high school
Education: The Challenge

United Way is working to build stronger neighborhoods across the region by fighting for:

Every person in every neighborhood to have access to high-quality preschool and middle school programs, after school enrichment and physical and mental health services.

The Education Challenge Grant

Thank you to our generous partner Exelon for contributing $150,000 to the Education Challenge Grant.

Exelon will match a direct donation to our Education Initiative $1 to $1 up to a total of $150,000.

  • Helping children enter kindergarten ready to learn
  • Preparing underperforming middle school kids to enter high school ready to succeed