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Lane County Recognized as a Pacesetter for Early Literacy

Lane County has been honored as a Pacesetter by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading for exemplary work in eliminating barriers faced by children from low-income families on the path to becoming proficient readers.

“Pacesetter Honors are among the highest awards presented by the Grade-Level Reading Campaign,” said Ralph Smith, the managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. “We are very proud of Lane County and the numerous organizations and individuals behind the community for joining forces and working tirelessly to uplift children and families. They remind us that we are seeing great progress and real results all across the country."

The Grade-Level Reading Campaign recognizes Lane County, Oregon, as a 2016 Pacesetter for reporting population-level, measurable progress in school readiness and summer learning for children from low-income families. United Way of Lane County serves as the backbone support organization for the Lane Early Learning Alliance, which is focused on working together with cross-sector partners to create systems of services and supports that are aligned, coordinated, and family-centered, to ensure children are prepared to succeed in school and life.

Through Lane County’s collaborative efforts with partners:

  • Developmental screening rates for children have increased from 28.3% in 2013 to 67% in 2015, indicating a significant improvement in school readiness for low-income children.
  • Lane County also has implemented and scaled a successful Kids in Transition to School (KITS) program to improve summer learning and strengthen parent success. The KITS program has gone from serving 40 children at two sites in 2011 to serving 368 children at 24 school sites in 2016. Program outcomes include a 28% drop in the number children at risk for reading failure, as well as indicators of parental confidence at supporting their children’s learning and positive behaviors.

The Grade-Level Reading Campaign would especially like to recognize Lane County for its exemplary work to achieve success, scale, and sustainability of GLR efforts and outcomes. Find out more about the Grade-Level Reading Pacesetter Awards.

Local effort to provide dental care for every child spreads

"I grew up in a family that didn’t have access to dental care. It was a luxury that my parents could not afford. This resulted in cavities that could have been prevented.

Today, many families in Oregon are in a similar predicament. In fact, many children have rampant decay, which is defined as seven or more teeth rotting down to the gums. The statistics are sobering: 17,000 children between the ages of 6 and 9 in our state have rampant decay, and one in five children has untreated decay. Poor oral hygiene leads to larger health issues, children missing school and added financial stress on families."

Read More on the Register-Guard

Tax-Aide Interview on KKNU

United Way and AARP sat down with Tracy Berry from KKNU to discuss Tax-Aide services for 2017. Click here to listen. 

United Way of Lane County Aims to Improve Oral Health

EUGENE, Ore. -- A team of volunteers spent their MLK day trying to improve the smiles of thousands of kids by putting together dental kits. 

It’s all part of an effort by the United Way and local bike trailer company Burley.

Oregon's childhood dental disease rates are some of the highest in the country, so the team set out to provide resources for kids and their families.

Listen to complete coverage on KEZI

With Funding from United Way Local Program Helps Children and Parents Prepare for Kindergarten

For kids and parents, starting kindergarten can be difficult.

A program in a number of Lane County elementary schools created by a Eugene researcher is improving the school readiness of young children, easing the transition into kindergarten.

"Some kids are really shy and anxious," said Katherine Pears, creator of the Kids In Transition To School program. "They're crying, withdrawn, scared. But we're able to get them to; by the time they go into kindergarten, they're walking in like they know the place."

Read the complete article on the Register-Guard.

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