giving kids an equal chance

Together, we can give every child in our community the skills and support they need to succeedfrom kindergarten to graduation.

what we’re up against

Three out of four of Nashville’s third graders are not reading on grade level. Children who have not developed basic literacy skills by the time they enter kindergarten are three to four times more likely to drop out in later years.

17 percent of Metro Nashville Public School students did not graduate from high school in 2019. In Williamson County, 32 percent of students are not on track with their grade level.

How we can make it better


Prepare students for kindergarten.

Early brain development helps children become lifelong learners and thriving
readers. That’s why United Way partners to ensure children have access to books through Imagination Library; to provide accessible, high-quality child care and pre-K programs through Childcare Nashville; and to deliver training and support for educators to increase the quality of early childhood education through programs like Read to Succeed.

Raise Your Hand students

Improve literacy rates.

Third grade is the turning point when children go from learning to read, to reading to learn. If they aren’t reading on grade-level by this point, they will likely struggle in other subjects and will continue to fall behind. Our children’s success is the greatest investment we can make in our community. The Blueprint for Early Childhood Success is increasing third-grade reading proficiency by addressing chronic absenteeism, tackling summer learning loss and providing access to a variety of books in the classroom.


Make sure kids graduate.

Almost 20 percent of Metro Nashville Public School students aren’t graduating from high school. We are working to change that statistic by making sure every student has the skills and support they need to make it to graduation and a plan for continuing education, vocational training or career success. To do this, we support ongoing social and emotional education, provide opportunities for mentorship and guidance for the whole family, and offer meaningful tutoring programs like Raise Your Hand to ensure students receive the one-on-one support they need to succeed.

we’re seeing results


Books were distributed to young children


Students showed significant growth in key skills


Of preschoolers served gained early literacy skills


Kids increased their social-emotional skills

Help us give kids an equal chance

United Way partners with more than 100 agencies to make this all possible.

Learn more about our Partner Agencies on the ground.

United We Win

These are the faces of our community.