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College View Elementary Thriving With Support from Mile High United Way

With your past support of Mile High United Way, you have helped Bryan. Bryan and his three brothers attend College View Elementary in southwest Denver. Once ranked among the lowest performing schools in the city, College View is now a thriving learning community for children and their families. The community still faces challenges but through parent engagement, excellent staff leadership, and new support programs, families are becoming more involved in the school and children are succeeding.

We know that 27% of Colorado third graders aren’t reading at grade level and that has a tremendous impact on each child’s chances of graduating high school on time. Third grade specifically is a mile marker because in the fourth grade, students are no longer learning to read, they are now reading to learn other material in all subjects. Mile High United Way is striving to ensure that every third grader is reading proficiently and is armed with the tools to succeed in school.

Today, Bryan is starting sixth grade with dreams of becoming an engineer; but he wasn’t always as excited about his academic future. Two years ago he participated in Mile High United Way’s Power Lunch program through which volunteers visit the classroom to read with a third grader. Each week, a volunteer, came to College View Elementary to talk to and read with him one-on-one. Mike and Rich were Bryan’s reading buddies; they took turns every other week to read with Bryan. While he may have been falling behind in reading when they started, Bryan enjoyed the time he spent with his buddies and quickly improved his reading skills.

Mile High United Way’s Power Lunch is about more than reading. Our goal is to prepare students to be successful both in the classroom and after school. Having the tools to read is critical to meeting that goal; teachers and trained professionals help our kids learn these skills and our volunteers want to support the great work they are doing. Our volunteers can offer one-on-one personal time with students, positive attitudes and can set the example that showing up is important. In classrooms with the Power Lunch program, we’ve seen an increase in attendance on reading days because the students are excited to spend time with their volunteer. Power Lunch is as much about building a love of learning and great role models as it is anything else.

“Bryan was a great kid to read with and get to know… I think reading out loud to a Power Lunch volunteer and having someone to discuss the material with helped build his confidence as a reader.” –Rich Kluckow, volunteer

Last year, through literacy initiatives and programs designed to prepare children for success in school, more than 47,000 children received support. This is only possible because of individuals like you. Your support not only helped a child learn to read and dream of a big future, it went so much further.

Great things happen when we LIVE UNITED!

Learn more about Mile High United Way's work in the community and the programs that are helping students succeed.