United Way of Central Florida

Donations at Work Improving School Readiness

United Way Donations at Work

Improving School Readiness

We bring people together, people with passion and expertise to get things done.  Led by a Steering Committee of education experts, here’s a spotlight on two of several United Way services that are seeing results in improving school readiness:




Master Teacher

Success By 6

Master Teacher is a train-the-trainer program for pre-school teachers. Master Teachers trained fellow teachers and caregivers at 28 Pre-School/Childcare sites across Polk County. The program provides 160 hours of training designed to improve teaching vocabulary and reading skills needed by children in order to be ready to read by kindergarten. We're seeing great results from investments in this United Way program. Last year, 100% of the sites improved scores 15% or more. 371 students improved Peabody and Expressive Vocabulary Tests. 67 of those students who remained in the same class with the same teacher for 6 months or more were tracked as they entered Polk County kindergarten classrooms --on kindergarten entrance tests, these students scored “consistently demonstrating” skills needed to read and succeed at a rate 13.5% higher than a control group of similar students whose teachers did not receive Master Teacher training.

Master Teacher, Layla Cribb says "What I love most about this program is the relationship-based approach. The intensive hands-on experience makes this among the top preschool programs in our community.  I'm proud of my work and grateful for the opportunity to help teachers and improve school readiness."



  United Way Master Teacher, Layla Cribb, trains Lakeland

   preschool teacher on effective strategies with Word Walls 



Nemours Bright Start!


Nemours is an additional early literacy strategy used in tandem with Master Teacher & the Early Learning Coalition of Polk. Children identified as functioning below age level are tested before and after exposure to this program which builds reading readiness for struggling learners. This program is specifically designed for teaching early literacy skills to small groups of 4-5 year old children. 66% of the children who participate move into the typical range after completing the program.  The Early Learning Coalition of Polk in partnership with United Way's Master Teacher is #1 out of 10 regions acheiving results with Nemours.




Other UWCF strategies to improve school readiness include:

Born Learning, The Imagination Library, Parent Lending Libraries, Family Fundamentals, Parent Resource Guides, WLC ReadingPals, Literacy Camps and more.


To learn more about United Way’s work to advance education, visit uwcf.org/education.



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Event Calendar

May 17/18 09:00 AM - 11:00 AM Infant Massage at Family Fundamentals
May 17/18 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM Board of Directors Meetings
Jun 13/18 08:30 AM - 10:30 AM Community Impact Cabinet, meets quarterly

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Polk, Hardee and Highlands Counties, Florida | Phone: 863-648-1500 | PO Box 1357, Highland City, FL 33846 Physical Location
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