What we know is that too many of our children are not ready to learn on the first day of school. This is reflected in the Regina 2009-11 baseline, where 1 in 3 children are ‘not fully ready for school” – most are not poor.
Many of our children are not reaching pivotal reading and literacy levels on time leaving their future academic success in grave doubt; and as a result we are losing far too many of our youth as they transition to and through high school.
The reality is when it comes to measurements like school readiness Regina is at the bottom in comparison to communities across the country, including Saskatchewan. Given that we have a 17.5% growth in children 4 years and under, it is not hard to see we need to act immediately.
The United Way Regina’s Board is committed to changing this reality and is taking a stand when it comes to the future of our children.
Over the next five years, United Way Regina will place a priority on investing in the Focus Area of All That Kids Can Be. This investment will allow us to support specific programs and initiatives that improve educational outcomes for Regina’s children and lead to an improved quality of life.
This will demand enhancements of current investments we are making in supporting child centric programming; developing new partnerships such as with the school boards and others; and a far more determined and directed outreach to our private and community sector partners to step up in making this change possible.
Over the next five years, we will launch multiple strategies and initiatives focused on the target outcome: improving educational outcomes for Regina’s children.
We will continue to take a holistic approach to our investments and continue our work in our other two focus areas; Strong Communities and Poverty to Possibility. We know that children can’t learn if they don’t have access to proper nutrition or the ability to be supported by their family and by their wider community.
Our new strategic direction will allow us to do what we do best: collaborate and work with all levels of government; engage and inspire our private and community partners and major donors to invest; and help increase the capacity within our community partnerships to focus on a clear goal of changing the educational outcomes of our children.