AT&T and United Way Worldwide (UWW) today announced that United Way of Southern Nevada has been awarded a UWW/AT&T Family Engagement for High School Success grant of $50,000. This funding is part of a new initiative designed to help parents and caregivers get more involved in their child’s education. AT&T has contributed $2 million to the program through AT&T Aspire, a $100 million initiative focused specifically on high school success and workforce readiness.
United Way of Southern Nevada will implement the grant to increase high school graduation rates by developing an effective long-term plan for increased parent involvement and education.
United Way in the U.S. has set ambitious national goals in education, income and health – including cutting the nation’s high school dropout rate in half by 2018. The new family engagement initiative is part of United Way’s national strategy to meet that goal.
“Through this grant, United Way will further its agenda to increase high school graduation rates by building home, school and community partnerships,” said Dan Goulet, president and CEO, United Way of Southern Nevada. “As students graduate, their added value as highly productive, intelligent, employed, and engaged community members will increase the overall quality of life for everyone.”
United Way of Southern Nevada is one of 15 United Ways receiving a matching grant through this initiative to identify best practices for family engagement to boost high school graduation. The 15 sites will use funds to increase family-community-school partnerships to build successful learning in high school. An additional five local United Ways will receive capacity building support for family engagement work.
This new initiative responds to recent research funded by AT&T and conducted by Civic Enterprises and Peter Hart Research with America’s Promise Alliance, “On the Front Lines of Schools,” where the voices of our nation’s education practitioners reflected their outlook on the high school dropout crisis. One of the key findings of this research was that the majority of teachers (63 percent) and principals (51 percent) felt increasing their schools’ parental outreach programs would do a lot to reduce the number of high school dropouts.
To find the most qualified state and local United Ways for this project, AT&T and UWW developed a Request for Proposal (RFP) in tandem with four national partners: the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), Communities in Schools, Coalition of Community Schools, and American Association of School Administrators (AASA). The Harvard Family Research Project is engaged to oversee the evaluation component of this program.
“This partnership will help ensure our children complete school and have an opportunity to succeed in life,” said Walt Rulffes, superintendent, Clark County School District. “It is imperative that we, as a community, commit to a quality education for all children which will in turn perpetuate continuous prosperity for Nevada.”
AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. As evidence of its commitment, AT&T launched Aspire, a $100 million high school success and workforce readiness initiative in April 2008. AT&T Aspire is one of the largest-ever corporate commitments to address high school success and workforce readiness.
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