The house is quiet. Family vacation snapshots are ready for the photo album. Peanut butter and jelly stains litter the kitchen.
This can only mean one thing: Kids are back to school.
Over 176,724 students will enroll in Palm Beach County schools this year. Unfortunately, thousands of these students will not be reading at grade level.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) estimates that only 33% of fourth graders read proficiently. This means that 67% cannot demonstrate solid academic performance and competency in relation to challenging subject matter in reading.
These deficits last long beyond the fourth grade. Fewer than 2 in 10 eighth graders are on track for college-level work. Eight in ten won’t have the knowledge and skills to succeed in high school.
Given these troubling statistics, it comes as no surprise that over 3 million children drop out of high school each year nationwide.
Education is among the greatest investments we can make in our community. A study conducted by Dr. Arthur Reynolds of the University of Wisconsin found that society saves more than $7 for every $1 invested in preschool programs. Since 1962, U.S. stocks have produced average returns in a typical year of 11%. Given the finding of Dr. Reynold’s study, the average return rate for investment in preschool programs would be 60%.
The Town of Palm Beach United Way supports numerous organizations and programs, such as the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County, Milagro Center, Opportunity, Inc., Take Stock in Children, YMCA of the Palm Beaches and YWCA preschools. Each of these organizations helps to fight educational shortfalls in Palm Beach County. But we can’t do it without your help. Your support of the Town of Palm Beach United Way helps work toward bringing all Palm Beach County students to grade level in reading, math, and all other subjects.
Since 1945, the Town of Palm Beach United Way has invested more than $60 million into Palm Beach County because of generous donors like you. Although some of the needs since 1945 have changed, the Town of Palm Beach United Way is still helping people who struggle with hunger, homelessness, job loss, abuse, mental illness, and more. To find out more about the Town of Palm Beach United Way visit www.palmbeachunitedway.org. On behalf of the community that we serve, THANK YOU for the difference you make.