United Way of Clinton County, Iowa (UWCCI) collected contributions totaling $497,144 for 76% of the $650,000 goal at its campaign report on New Year’s Eve. The campaign actively seeks gifts through early 2020. The campaign is ahead of last year at approximately the same time, which reached 68% of goal. The DeWitt Division reached $14,774 for 36.9% of goal, which is below last year’s 48.4% of goal at the same time.

Contributions stay in DeWitt and the surrounding area to help children get a strong start in life, enter school ready to succeed and build critical reading skills, to help individuals and families get a quality education and tools to get jobs that will support a family, and increase families’ access to health care, and healthier foods, activities, and environments.

Helping children read at grade level is a focus for United Way of Clinton County, Iowa. The AmeriCorps reading program is funded at Northeast Community School District. This program helps over 50 students per year known as the “bubble” kids. They have skills just below grade-level reading where there are no funds to help them, like those for low- and high-level readers. Skill needs are assessed, and evidence-based techniques used in one-on-one sessions to raise reading skills as quickly as possible. It raises self-esteem and future school success.

This program provides age-appropriate books to all children born in DeWitt and the surrounding area from birth to age five. Without books in the home, children do not learn to look at books, form stories and connect words with letters on a page. Over 1,000 books are provided to children annually.