United Way July Newsletter – Discover.  Connect.  See your impact



Dear [NAME]:

I remember when my kids were in school, this time of year would be crazy around our house--shopping for school supplies, scheduling doctor’s appointments, speed reading the assigned summer book and helping to ease the anxiety of starting at a new school, some years in a new city. We sent them off knowing they were as prepared as they could possibly be.

But the reality is that not all students go back to school equally prepared. Poverty brings a whole set of challenges that make it harder for students from struggling families to succeed. In fact, Massachusetts ranks third-worst in the country when it comes to the achievement gap among low-income students.

The good news is together, we are improving the academic outcomes of students who need more support. Read on for ways your donations are making a big impact.

In this month’s newsletter, we’ve compiled some advice for parents and grandparents to get their kindergarteners ready for the big day. If your kids are off to college for the first time, our Marian L. Heard Scholars have some great advice for success.

And for those whose kids have already flown the nest, we have some rewarding opportunities to mentor new college students, who are often the first in their families to attain higher education.

The new school year brings new opportunities. Let's ensure Massachusetts makes the grade for all of its students.

mike durkin signature

Mike Durkin
President & CEO

school readiness achievement gap 

What happens when number one isn’t good enough?

Massachusetts consistently receives number one rankings in the U.S. based on 4th and 8th grade reading and math scores and percentages of students going on to post-secondary education.

At the same time, low-income students received scores 25-30 points lower in 4th and 8th grade reading and math tests than those in higher income brackets, giving Massachusetts the third-highest achievement gap between low-income students and the rest of the state’s student population, according to WBUR’s Learning Lab. What we're doing about it >>


reducing summer learning loss


September 29: Save the Date for Tocqueville Celebration
November 16: Save the Date for Thanksgiving Project Leadership Family Night

kindergarten readiness tips

6 Skills Your Child Should Learn Before Starting Kindergarten

Kindergarten is all about learning how to be independent. Critical skills ranging from recognizing patterns and decoding symbols to making friends and navigating the library and are foundations that will set kids up to be successful for the rest of their educational years.

Kindergarten is also a huge time of transition and anxiety for kids (and parents!) Here are six practical things you and your child can work on now to help them feel confident and ready to learn on their first day of kindergarten.
See what they are >>

college readiness

15 Tips on Getting Ready for College from United Way’s Marian L. Heard Scholars

For the thousands of college students arriving on campuses this fall, as well as the high school juniors and seniors thinking about college prospects for the first time, there is a lot to know.

And who better to tell us than the students who have just been through it themselves? We asked the pros – United Way’s Marian L. Heard Scholars – to offer their best advice on getting ready for college. Take a look >>

tocqueville opportunities 


Looking to make a difference in the life of a young person? There is no better opportunity than with the Marian L. Heard Scholarship program. We're on the lookout for E-Coaches, volunteers who can serve as virtual mentors for scholars as they enter college. Contact Dahlia Bousaid Cox >>





United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley| 51 Sleeper Street, Boston, MA 02210| Tel: 617-624-8000 | unitedwaymassbay.org