School success begins with school attendance.
Students who are chronically absent from school, defined as missing 10 percent or more of school days, are more likely to have difficulty reading at grade level by third grade and are more likely to drop out of school. According to Attendance Works, Children living in poverty are two to three times more likely to be chronically absent—and face the most harm because their community lacks the resources to make up for the lost learning in school. Chronic absence isn’t simply a matter of truancy or skipping school. In fact, many of these absences are excused and often tied to health problems, such as asthma, diabetes, and oral and mental health issues. Other barriers including lack of a nearby school bus, a safe route to school or food insecurity make it difficult to go to school every day. United Way has partnered with AR Kids Read and the Optimist Club of Greater Little Rock to spread the word to parents about how important school attendance is.
Why We Invest
How We Invest
The Community Investment Fund supports a variety of local programs in education. This year 8,000 children received homework help and connected with mentors through afterschool programs. Girls in the criminal justice system participated in leadership programs that reduced recidivism and increased their academic success. Children across our community participated in summer reading programs to prevent summer learning loss. We're helping students build a foundation for future success as we invest.