The United Way of Whatcom County believes the three basic building blocks that provide the foundation for a good quality of life are: Education, Income, and Health.  To ensure the continued success for our community and improve the quality of life for our residents, the United Way of Whatcom County conducts research and partners with a variety of projects and programs to achieve specific community-wide goals. Our focus in Education is on Childhood Success.


United Way's Childhood Success Goals:

  • All families are strong, stable, and supported from the start.
  • Children enter school ready to succeed.
  • Students succeed in elementary school, are prepared for middle school, and graduate from high school.


Our Strategy for Childhood Success Includes:

  • Family Engagement: Equipping families with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to support child development and school success (e.g., Free Kindergarten Readiness Calendars, training on how to turn everyday moments into learning opportunities, parenting classes, informed playtime).
  • Effective Care and Education: Improving access to learning environments in order to engage and support children and students (e.g., early learning programs, before and after school programs, support for families with special needs).
  • Community Supports: Providing support for at-risk children and their families (e.g., outlets for parenting or pregnant youth, support for troubled or homeless teens, healing for families experiencing trauma).


Why support Education?

  • Research shows that children who enter school ready to learn are more likely to achieve early reading proficiency by third grade and graduate high school on time.
  • Students who graduate high school are more likely to find a job that pays a livable wage, live healthier lives, stay out of the criminal justce system, and have children who will also graduate from high school on time.


How are we making a difference annually?

  • 500+ kids gain crucial early learning skills and become prepared for school
  • 1,400+ teens increase their academic success, improve their grades, and are put on track to graduate from high school


Read articles on how we are making a difference in education:

Descriptions of Current Education Partners and Programs

2017-2018 Education partners and programs

Sponsored Programs: 

Academic Success- Boys & Girls Club of Whatcom County

Affordable Childcare- Bellingham Child Care and Learning Center

Birth to Three Program- Whatcom Center for Early Learning

Child Care Support- GRADS Program Bellingham Public Schools

Closing the Opportunity Gap - WWU Foundation/Woodring College/Bellingham Public Schools

Early Learning Program- Whatcom Family YMCA

Home Port Learning Program- Home Port Learning Center

Kaleidoscope Play & Learn Program - Whatcom Early Learning Alliance (WELA)

Parent Support Program - Lydia Place

Positive Adolescent Development Program- Northwest Youth Services

Rebound Roots - Rebound of Whatcom County



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