10-Year Goal: Education

United Way of Snohomish County: Tulalip Babies

Our goal is to ensure our children enter school ready to learn, succeed in school and graduate on time. Our approach impacts two key stages in a child's life—early learning and middle school years— by focusing on four key areas:

  • Literacy in math and English
  • Social/emotional development
  • Parent engagement
  • Community support

Investing in Early Learning Pays

The majority of brain development occurs from birth to age six.

When children start behind, they tend to stay behind. Washington teachers say that 56% of children who enter kindergarten are not ready to learn. For low-income families, that jumps to 75%.

By investing in quality programs for kids, parents, teachers and childcare providers, United Way has helped more than 6,500 children enter kindergarten ready to succeed.


Keeping Middle School Youth on Track

Only 76% of high school students in Snohomish County graduate on time. Middle school students with at least one supportive adult in their lives are almost twice as likely to graduate as those who do not.

Kids do well in school and become caring, responsible adults when they have positive opportunities, relationships and values. United Way and the Marysville community are training adults to develop these positive assets in children and youth.


Key Facts

Across America, 1 student drops out of high school every 28 seconds and 1 in 5 fail to graduate on time.

18,000 children in Snohomish County live in poverty— about 12%. In families with a female head of household, the rate jumps to 27%.

Research shows that for every $1 we spend to help children from birth to age five grow and learn returns up to $16 in savings during their lifetime in reduced crime, higher graduation rates and a stronger workforce.


Key Results

More than 1,000 children birth to age five have enrolled in Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, through which United Way sends free books each month to build literacy. We distribute 15,000 books to young children annually.

United Way uses the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment to develop social and emotional strengths in infants, toddlers and preschoolers. In the past seven years, United Way has served 6,500 children with an overall demonstrated improvement of 34%. United Way invests $469,217 in quality childcare and early learning.

United Way has trained 1,000 adults in Youth Developmental Assets—the 40 building blocks kids need to succeed, by focusing on safe and caring environments, positive adult relationships and meaningful engagement opportunities.

United Way also funds grants for:

  • Accessible, affordable and quality childcare
  • Physical, social and academic development in children and youth
  • Services for children and youth in foster care, mental health and substance abuse issues, and homelessness

By 2020: 10-Year Goals in Education*
  • 75% of kindergartners enter school with the literacy and social/emotional skills needed to succeed. Currently, 44% are ready.
  • 90% of 3rd and 8th graders meet literacy standards in reading. Currently, 69% meet standards.
  • 75% of middle school students demonstrate commitment to school. Currently, 56% meet this criterion.

* Scores on academic achievement in Marysville and Lake Stevens will be used to measure results, with the goal of expanding successful programs to more communities.

Mission: Leading positive change that transforms our community and improves people’s lives in Snohomish County

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