FREMONT – New numbers with United Way show an increase in literacy in third graders.
Fremont Area United Way is a fundraising organization that raises funds to support non-profits and community change. They also support higher outcomes of achievement through change in behavior for children, families, and adults.
According to Executive Director with Fremont Area United Way, Shawn Shanahan, Fremont Family Coalition had specific areas they wanted to focus on, such as poverty for children five and under, third grade reading scores as a county, provide collaborative efforts on meeting the needs of the people in the community, and building a prevention-level of care.
Fremont Area United Way recently received some new numbers on the reading scores of third graders in the county, and Shanahan says the increase may seem small but is actually significant.
“Dodge County, when we first started in 2011, was at 73% proficiency for the third grade reading, and we are now at 78% as a county as a whole,” said Shanahan. “Those improvements are really due to collaborative efforts and partnerships, and new programming that we identified as a community that was needed in our community.”
Some of the new programming that helped increase these scores include additional preschools, early literacy and early learning through Head Start, Lutheran Family Services, and Sixpence, and the Imagination Library in the community.
Shanahan says their goal as a county is to reach the state average.
“Together collectively, as a county, we would love to exceed the state average of where we are,” said Shanahan. “But collectively this growth is showing us that we can continue doing this momentum together and reach the state goal. And so the state goal is 84%, and so I would love for us together, collectively as a community, to figure out how we can do that.”
Shanahan adds another one of their focus areas, poverty for children five and under, has seen new numbers. The rate has changed from 23.6% as a county and 26.2% for Fremont to and estimated lower rate of 19.6%.