Serving Monroe, Owen, and Greene Counties

Our Impact on Education

With your support, we work with member agencies and community partners to bring lasting change to our community. We focus our efforts on the building blocks that will improve people’s lives - we call them the 3Es: Education, Earnings, and Essentials.

We help children, youth, and adults achieve their potential by funding and participating in programs that ensure they...


  • Enter kindergarten ready to succeed
  • Graduate school with a purposeful plan, and
  • Continue to build job and life skills.


We lead or support several Early Childhood Education efforts:

Born Learning
United Way’s Born Learning initiative helps parents, caregivers, and our community support positive early childhood development. Born Learning provides easy research-based ways to turn everyday moments into fun learning opportunities for young children. Read more.

Monroe Smart Start
Led by United Way and the Community Foundation, Monroe Smart Start Birth-to-Five Coalition brings families and communities together to make sure our children enter kindergarten healthy, happy, and ready to succeed in school and in life. Read more.

Kindergarten Countdown
Kindergarten Countdown helps at-risk children transition successfully into school ready to learn. Read more.

Real Men Read
Did you know that a child's education begins before they even start their first day of school? Or that early education in the home and during the first years of formal schooling has a measurable and lasting impact in the child's life and the community?  Real Men Read is a volunteer-driven program that brings male mentors from the community into kindergarten classrooms to read a book once a month for five months. Read more.

Let's Read
Just as children develop language skills long before they are able to speak, they also develop literacy skills long before they are able to read. Let's Read is an exciting program that partners United Way, Monroe Smart Start, WTIU, and Riley Physicians at IU Health. At select wellness visits from six months to five years old, pediatricians and nurses take time to talk with parents about the importance of reading at home. Each family also receives a free age-appropriate book and a packet of information on ways to build early literacy and school readiness skills. Read more.


We lead or support several Succeed in School efforts:

High School Plus Coalition 
The High School Plus Coalition brings community partners together to build solutions and create resources that help students succeed in high school and beyond. Led by the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Franklin Initiative and United Way of Monroe County, High School Plus identifies and works to eliminate problems that cause kids to drop out of school. Read more.

Asset Building Coalition
The Asset Building Coalition collaborates with community partners and brings together resources to promote youth-focused initiatives based on the Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets. Read more.

Monroe County Youth Council
The Monroe County Youth Council was formed in 2011 to improve the quality of life of youth in Monroe County by creating and administering youth-led projects and programs, discussing and deliberating public policy issues affecting youth, and serving as an advisory board to local organizations, institutions, businesses, government, and the community. One of MCYC's signature projects, in coordination with United Way, the Bloomington Volunteer Network, and the Asset Building Collation is Global Youth Service Day. To read about how our community is involved in the world's largest day of service, click here.


United Way Member Agency Allocation Grants
Many of our certified member agencies work to strengthen youth and education efforts in our community. We are proud to award funding to these organizations through a local volunteer-led allocations process. Read more.

In 2015, donations and grants to United Way created valuable impacts...  

  • To promote early literacy and school readiness skills United Way partnered with IU Health Riley Physicians for the ‘Let’s Read’ program to distribute information packets and 4,409 books to children at their 6-months through 5-years wellness visits.
  • 1,125 school children received adequate clothing, shoes, and school supplies through the MCCSC, RBB, and S-OCS School Assistance Funds so they could fully participate in classes.
  • 98% of high school seniors enrolled in mentoring programs at United Way member agencies graduated.
  • 100% of girls in the money management program at Girls Inc. improved their economic knowledge.
  • United Way's Real Men Read initiative brought 17 male mentors into 17 kindergarten classrooms to read a book each month with the goal of encouraging all children, particularly boys, to see reading as something that men value. During 2015, we distributed 2,250 books to 450 kindergarten students.
  • 97% of the children enrolled in the Monroe County United Ministries [MCUM] preschool developed the basic math and literacy skills needed to start kindergarten successfully.
  • Of parents with a child at MCUM, 74% said they are aware of how they can support their child's development and education at home.
  • 100% of the teens in supportive living at Stepping Stones grew their life skills,improved their physical health, and increased their financial management skills.
  • 80% of at-risk children in intensive mental health services at Catholic Charities experienced an increase in reading skills; 85% showed a decrease in school disciplinary referrals.
  • 92% of children taking part in after school and summer programs at member agency New Hope Family Shelter improved or maintained their grades at school.
  • More than 1,300 youth benefitted from over 2,600 hours of tutoring at United Way member agencies.
  • United Way and the Chamber of Commerce convene the High School Plus coalition together with the local school systems, Prosecutor’s Office, and other community partners to ensure every student will graduate school 'plus' have a viable plan for the future. The Coalition developed an online Roadmap to Success available at
  • 74% of educational and social goals were achieved by youth participating in services at People & Animal Learning Services.

Do you want to strengthen education in our community?

Please consider donating to the United Way Education Priority Fund. This fund helps children achieve their potential through cradle-to-career initiatives that ensure kids enter kindergarten ready to learn and graduate high school ready to earn success in college or career.

Want to learn more about the other building blocks for a good life? Visit Earnings and Essentials to see how we are making an impact.


  • Born Learning
  • Financial Stability Alliance
  • Monroe Smart Start
  • Familywize Discount Prescription Card
  • Bank On Bloomington