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United Way Announces Three Year Funding Plan



The United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra wants to double the number of proficient readers entering fourth grade by 2020. In order to do that, they’ve pledged to give $1.125 million to organizations who promote literacy and reading proficiency: Wells Family Resource Center, Northern Nevada Literacy Council, Boys and Girls Club of the Truckee Meadows, and Sierra Nevada Journeys. The allocations will be split in this way: year one: $500,000; year two: $375,000; and year three: $250,000.

The Wells Family Resource Center partnered with several organizations to create Building Blocks for Literacy, which helps parents increase their knowledge of child development, increase library use, and build reading skills and performance in early grade reading. They received $76,328, which will allow them to help over 2,000 children and nearly 50 teachers.

The Northern Nevada Literacy Council received $175,000 to develop a family reading program and develop parental engagement to achieve third grade reading outcomes, increase foundational skills to achieve behavioral changes in the family, and provide parent literacy training.

The Boys and Girls Club of the Truckee Meadows received $100,000 to implement Reading A-Z, a program designed to enhance reading skills and promote literacy among first through third graders, as well as provide remedial help for emergent readers during the summer.

Sierra Nevada Journeys, in partnership with Desert Research Institute and others, received $118,672 toward creating a science-based learning model that will entail in-class, hands-on science experiments and a half-day field study science experiment.

“We received very high quality proposals from across our service region,” said Karen Barsell, CEO and president of UWNNS. “The issue of early grade-level reading success was obviously very important to many organizations in our communities and there are wonderful programs addressing this critical issue. The organizations we funded will be offering innovative and unique programs that will help double the number of children in northern Nevada who read proficiently at the conclusion of third grade by 2020. Reading is the cornerstone for all learning and these programs will position our region’s children to become better learners.”

Nevada ranks near the bottom of the national scale when it comes to high school graduates and since there is a direct proven relationship between third grade reading proficiency and high school graduation rates, it’s more important than ever that students in Nevada are proficient readers.

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