Duke Energy gives United Way’s Youth Success Impact Council $2K

Local News

(Courtesy United Way)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Duke Energy Foundation awarded United Way of the Wabash Valley with a $2,000 grant toward their Youth Success Impact Council. This council is working to empower youth to be responsible, reliable and respectful individuals by providing resources and programs.  

With one in five children in the Wabash Valley living in poverty, UW wants to help close the achievement gap by assisting more children and families to succeed in school. When more students succeed in school and life, it will help toward the United Way’s bold goal to move 10,000 families out of financial struggles and into stability.

Two of the Youth Success Council’s strategies are to improve attendance rates and expand literacy support for children in kindergarten through 12th grade. These strategies are interconnected: Chronic absenteeism makes it difficult for students to develop and sustain reading skills, and weak reading skills make schoolwork increasingly difficult and frustrating, lowering self-confidence, and weakening a student’s interest in school. The Council’s plan to break this downward spiral is to offer programs that support literacy development and retention.

The grant from the Duke Energy Foundation will be the first step for the Youth Success Council to help the community develop new comprehensive literacy programs aimed at kindergarten through second grade. These programs will aid students in learning reading fundamentals, but also promote a passion and love for reading. A process for organizations such as libraries, mentoring programs, after-school care and schools to create and apply for funding for creative programs that will strengthen reading skills of students will be developed and publicized later this summer.

“Duke Energy Foundation supports United Way of the Wabash Valley and their innovative and multifaceted approach to community building,” said Rick Burger, District Manager for Duke Energy. “Our grant to the Youth Success Council will provide a seed to build stronger literacy programs across the Wabash Valley with the help of United Way. This will be a project that will help our youth for years to come.”

Dorothy Chambers of the United Way working with the Youth Success Council, said, “Building strong literacy skills during the kindergarten through the second-grade years is critical to long-term student success.  When children have a solid reading foundation, it has the potential to open up doors and keep them engaged in learning.  We will combine this seed grant with more donor and corporate support to promote that strong foundation for children across the Wabash Valley.”      

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