46% of children start school without the literacy, social and emotional skills they need to succeed. Without these skills, it is harder for them to stay in school and graduate.

During the first half of this year, United Way-funded programs helped 23,199 children by supporting:

• Language and literacy, early intervention, and social/emotional learning;

• Tutoring, mentoring and positive youth development; and

• Drop out prevention and college and career readiness.

When you support United Way, you support programs and collaborations that help students in Erie County reach their full potential.

Click HERE for a full list of programs funded through our investment in education.


One of the many ways United Way accomplishes community work in Education is by building, facilitating and participating in strategic partnerships throughout the community. These initiatives come to life with the help of the skills and resources of community partners.


Helping children reach their full potential


Two of the key collaborative partnerships in our Education platform include The After-School Network of Western New York and Closing the Gap in Student Performance, both of which help United Way work toward advancing education in our region. Here are some highlights:


Closing the Gap in Student Performance


• Improves academic success of students in Buffalo Public Schools by addressing non-academic barriers to learning

• Works with children, families, teachers, administrators, and health and human service providers to provide students and families with critical support services

• Coordinates efforts of over 35 agencies and county departments in supporting the needs of over 7,500 students

• Goals include:

- Increasing academic performance

- Increasing attendance

- Increasing family engagement and involvement

- Decreasing disciplinary referrals and suspensions

• Site facilitators link school-based agency providers to students and families.

• Services include, but are not limited to: clothing and food, tutoring and mentoring, mental health services, grief and loss counseling, parent programs and outreach, after-school and out-of-school enrichment programs, crisis intervention, mediation, behavior and re-entry planning, and classroom management workshops.

-Collaboration engages numerous community partners, including but not limited to Buffalo Public Schools, Catholic Charities, The City of Buffalo, The County of Erie, Erie 1 BOCES, and Say Yes to Education Buffalo.

• To learn more, visit


The After-School Network of Western New York


• Strengthens the WNY out-of-school-time community through advocacy, collaboration, and education.

• Communicates with local, state and federal stakeholders about the benefits of out-of-school- time enrichment opportunities

• Seeks to build a local system to coordinate after-school efforts

• Advocates a common data system that can be used by community based organizations serving public school students.

• Organizes professional development sessions for providers

• Allows program coordinators to connect and exchange ideas for improving programming

• To learn more, visit


Other Education Partnerships


United Way also supports or participates in these other education partnerships:

  • Areawide Birth to 8 Initiative
  • Buffalo Promise Neighborhoods
  • Perry Choice Neighborhood
  • Read to Succeed Literacy Coalition
  • South Buffalo Promise Zone
  • Say Yes to Education



United Way of Buffalo & Erie County welcomes inquiries about community coalition work in Education. Please contact Melodie Baker, Program Director for Education, at 887-2763 or


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