By: Jeff Lang—
Muncie, Indiana—Thanks to the generous support from people like you, United Way of Delaware County is winding up another successful fundraising campaign. We’re not done. Not quite yet. But it’s close and I wanted to say thank you.
Like many of you, I have much to be grateful for this holiday season, and one thing is this place I call home. I came to Muncie for a job a few decades ago and I’ve never left. Never wanted to. Now that I’ve retired, I’m still staying put and it’s largely because of my neighbors, my friends, and my community.
We’re not a perfect community. But we do a lot of things right and one of them is addressing ways to end generational poverty.
Did you know nearly half of Delaware County lives in poverty or is one crisis away from it – making daily choices between food, childcare, car repairs, housing, etc.?
We know from the research that a key predictor about a person’s success happens in the third-grade, a time when children transition from learning how to read into students who read to learn. While some children meet this critical benchmark and often switch from learning to read to lovingto read. Many do not. In order to help those kiddos, we need to do more to trigger what experts call reading readiness.
We’ve never been more prepared to do so much for so many thanks to each of you.
Communities like ours are at risk because we have a high level of poverty – generational poverty. In fact, 80 percent of children in low-income homes are reading below grade-level and they are 13 times more likely to not finish high school. Experts tell us there is a 30-million-word gap for children from low-income homes – that by the age of 3, they have been read to, sung to, talked to so much less that they have actually heard 30 million fewer words.
We know by addressing grade-level reading readiness, we tackle generational poverty. That’s why United Way of Delaware County has set a bold goal to have all children reading at grade-level in third grade by 2024.
By supporting United Way, you take the guess work out of how you can most impact your community. United Way keeps organizations focused and requires them to show results. United Way keeps its overhead in check, too. This year, thanks to grants from George and Frances Ball Foundation, Ball Brothers Foundation and Indiana United Ways, Delaware County’s overhead is fully covered so your gifts can go to impacting the community and putting children on a pathway out of poverty.
As we near the end of the 2018 United Way campaign, if you haven’t already, I’m asking you to consider financially supporting this campaign. Our goal is to raise $1.43 million and it stays right here in our community, going directly to our programs that help families and their children to reach the goals that we know will put us on the path to end generational poverty.
A longtime community leader, Lang is chairman of the 2018 campaign for United Way of Delaware County.