United Way has two community goals in the area of Education:

  1. Preparing all children to enter school ready to learn.
  2. Helping youth achieve their full potential.


Together we can prepare all children to enter school ready to learn.


85% of a child’s brain develops before the age of five, so it is critical to provide learning opportunities before formal school begins. In Southwestern Indiana, it is estimated that 60% of the students entering kindergarten received no formal early learning opportunities. Many of these children start school behind their peers and are unable to catch up.

United Way prepares children to enter school ready to learn by:

  • Increasing literacy skills at a young age.
  • Increasing family involvement in literacy, health and other factors that lead to school readiness.


Born Learning is a United Way public awareness campaign that shows parents and caregivers of young children how to make the most of everyday teachable moments. The program provides easy ways to integrate learning shapes, colors and counting into daily life.

United Way has led efforts to bring together more than 67 organizations and businesses to form the Early Childhood Development Coalition (ECDC). United Way secured a $500,000 4community grant through the Indiana Association of United Ways funded by the Lilly Endowment. An additional $500,000 in matching funds were raised through corporate and local contributions to use for early childhood initiatives. United Way continues to provide staff and resources for the coalition, as well as serving as the fiscal agent. ECDC has an independent Board of Directors.

Key focus areas for ECDC are: Literacy, Health and Nutrition, Family Involvement and School Readiness. Recent projects for the Early Childhood Development Coalition included a lead awareness campaign, literacy parties and kindergarten readiness preparedness for families. Please check out our progress in our 2009 Report to the Community. To learn more or to get involved, contact ECDC.

Napoleon’s Adventure Club Napoleon Peacock is here to help children develop a love of reading! This partnership with the Early Childhood Development Coalition and Welborn Baptist Foundation includes a series of local children’s books, Parent Guides and educational TV programs on WNIN. By engaging children at a young age, we will help prepare them for school and a lifetime of learning and success. Our first book is Napoleon Peacock’s Adventure in Amazonia and takes place at Mesker Park Zoo.

United Way Funded Programs – Early Childhood

Partner Agency Program
Carver Community Organization Early Childhood Development
The Arc of Evansville Child Life Center
St. Vincent Center for Children and Families Early Childhood Education
Youth Service Bureau Healthy Families

Early Childhood Development Coalition Partners

4 C of Southern Indiana, Inc. First Steps
The Arc of Evansville Gabriel’s Garden Preschool Oakhill Baptist Child Care
Ark Crisis Child Care Center Girl Scouts of Raintree Council Oakland City University
Aurora Goodwill Family Center Office of the Evansville Mayor
Bright Horizon’s-Toyota Grace Happy House Purdue Extension
CAPE Head Start Henderson Community College Royal Child Care
Caring Friends Child Care High Point St. Mary’s Hospital for Women & Children
Carver Community Organization Home for Your Heart St. Mary’s La Petite Child Care
Cedar Hall Elementary School Indiana Youth Institute St. Mary’s Medical Center
Central Child Care Ivy Tech St. Vincent’s Day Care
Crossroads Child Care Joshua Academy The Garden School
Deaconess Child Care Junior League of Evansville United Way of Southwestern Indiana
Deaconess Family Practice Kalp Network Inc. University of Evansville
Deaconess Hospital Kindergate Development Center University of Southern Indiana
Deaconess Women’s Hospital Koch Family Children’s Museum USI – Children’s Center
Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center Lampion Center Vanderburgh County Health Department
Evansville Area PTA Council Lieberman Technologies Vectren
Evansville Catholic Schools Little Husky World Welborn Baptist Foundation
Evansville Chamber of Commerce Marian Educational Outreach WNIN – Ready to Learn
Evansville Courier and Press Mayor’s Education Roundtable Youth Service Bureau – Healthy Families
Evansville Public Library Methodist Temple YWCA
Evansville Regional Business Committee Milestones Child Development Center
Evansville/Vanderburgh School Corp.
Fairlawn Children’s Center

Did you know?

Every $1 invested in early childhood yields at least an $8 return to the community through saved taxpayer-funded social services. Indiana is one of only eight states that does not invest any public funding in early childhood programs. Children who participate in early learning programs experience higher employment and compensations rates into adulthood.


Together we can help youth achieve their full potential.


Most teen behavioral problems occur Monday through Friday between 3 and 6 p.m. Those are the high-risk hours after school, before parents return home from work. Quality after school programs give children something to do at a time of day when they are most vulnerable to be victims of crimes and most vulnerable to bad influences.

United Way helps youth achieve their full potential by:

  • Ensuring youth have positive role models.
  • Reducing tobacco, alcohol and drug use among youth.
  • Increasing graduation rates.



United Way is an active participant in the School-Community Council. In the early 1990s, United Way received a grant from the Lilly Endowment to form afterschool programs. Then, in 1994, United Way funds went to Cedar Hall Elementary to form the first full service community school. These early efforts grew into the School-Community Council. Numerous studies have shown that the healthier and happier children are outside of the classroom, the greater the chance that they will succeed in the classroom.

United Way Funded programs – Youth

Partner Agency Program
Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Ohio Valley One-to-One Mentoring
Boys & Girls Club of Evansville Comprehensive Youth Development – Main Unit
Comprehensive Youth Development – Fulton Unit
Boy Scouts of America Buffalo Trace Council High Risk TroopsLearning for Life
Scout Reach & Urban Emphasis
Carver Community Organization Youth Services
Catholic Charities School CounselingPEERS
Lampion Center Community Services
Girl Scouts of Raintree Council Discovering You
Mental Health America, Spencer Co. Youth Advocacy
Vanderburgh County CASA Child Protection
YMCA Camp Carson ScholarshipsY-CAP
YWCA Live Y’ers

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