United Way of Dane County details $17 M in investments - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

United Way of Dane County details $17 M in investments

MADISON (WKOW) -- The United Way of Dane County released details regarding the nearly $17 million in community investments made during the 2009 campaign. More than 39,000 Dane County residents and workers in more than 1100 organizations committed to the community's Agenda for Change by taking part in the 2009 United Way campaign.

"This community responded in a very challenging economic climate, and we are excited to share details of how their investments will solve the most pressing local issues," stated Tom Zimbrick, 2009 Chair, United Way of Dane County Board of Directors. "Contributions to United Way will have an immediate impact on people who are facing challenges right now. We are able to increase surplus food to children, get more families into Housing First programs, and help workers connect to training's and benefits to bring needed immediate relief. We are also able to continue our investments for the long-term in the Born Learning Initiative and support the expansion of proven programs like Schools of Hope as we help students and young people acquire the skills they need for success."

By strategically using resources, new grants and innovative partnerships, the United Way was able to maintain its commitment to basic needs and announce several new programs and expansions to key initiatives.

Below is a listing of those services and expansions:

Increasing Basic Needs Services

            Housing First Expansion in Sun Prairie and Madison:

  • 49 families with over 100 children will be connected to new Housing First programs in Sun Prairie and Madison. Housing First provides immediate access to housing, financial literacy training, and intensive case management. It is twice as effective and half the cost of shelter at ending the cycle of homelessness.

Surplus Food for Children:

  • Strategic investments will allow us to increase surplus food supply with 120,000 gallons of milk, 16,500 lbs of cereal and 44,000 lbs of fresh produce that will go directly to area children through pantries.
  • Support of food pick-up van from Community Action Coalition to connect surplus food from area farms to local meal sites, making additional fresh local produce available to local pantries.

Long-Term Investments in Born Learning Initiative

Play and Learn sites expand to Verona

  • United Way's Mobile Play and Learn will be expanding to Verona in 2010 in a partnership with Verona School District.  In one year over 100 Verona children and parents will now have access to a quality early-childhood learning environment.

Increasing Parent Visitations to First-time Parents

  • Streamlining the services of several programs, Exchange Center will expand the crucial parent visitation programs to 200 first-time parents giving them the needed skills to help their babies develop and learn.

Expansion of Proven Programs

            Schools of Hope/ Achievement Connections:

  • Behavioral health screenings for over 3,900 6th graders in 4 area school districts (Madison, Sun Prairie, Oregon, and Middleton/Cross Plains) will identify and treat behavioral health concerns for young students struggling in school.
  • Schools of Hope tutoring in the same districts will provide one-on-one trained tutors for over 300-400 new high school students to boost achievement and increase high school graduation rates. (Note: Oregon will tutor additional 100 middle school students)

"United Way has created measurable results on the Agenda for Change over the last few years.  In the present challenging economic times, accountable and efficient work that helps with immediate needs and relies on proven programs to deliver long-term results for Dane County," stated Lucia Nuñez, United Way volunteer and Vision Council Vice-Chair. "These investment decisions show that United Way and partners are listening to the community."

"Donors and volunteers are the reason United Way of Dane County is able to do such important work in this community," remarked Lau Christensen, Chairman, Christensen Associates and 2009 Vision Council Chair. "We have a lot of work to do to in 2010, and thanks to the community support we have the resources to continue our progress on the Agenda for Change."

For more information about the United Way of Dane County's Agenda for Change, click here.

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