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United Way Early Childhood Literacy

United Way Early Childhood Literacy Initiative 

United Way of North Central Massachusetts Strategy


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In North Central Massachusetts, we LIVE UNITED against illiteracy…. through
United Way Early Childhood Literacy Initiative, with its goal to ensure that:

  • Children enter school ready to succeed, and
  • Students are successful in elementary/primary school and prepared for middle school/secondary school

Research shows that children who enter school ready to learn are more likely to achieve early reading proficiency by third grade, and graduate high school on time.

Students who graduate high school are more likely to find a job that pays a livable wage, live healthier lives, stay out of the justice system and have children who also graduate high school on time.

Our strategy for CHILDHOOD SUCCESS includes:

As of February 2018, United Way of North Central Massachusetts has launched a new exciting program.  Building upon the success of our previous initiative, Dolly Parton Imagination Library, we are expanding to reach our goal of bridging the 30 million word gap that exists between children from low-income families and their peers as they enter kindergarten.


United Way of North Central Massachusetts, thanks to its donors, is part of the Early Literacy Innovation Zone of North Central Massachusetts.  Powered by Footsteps2Brilliance children from birth to third grade in Ashby, Athol, Ayer, Clinton, Fitchburg, Gardner, Leominster, Lunenburg, Pepperell, Phillipston, Royalston, Shirley, Templeton, Townsend and Winchendon have free access to this exciting digital application. 

With the help of our donors we are working to bring this exciting initiative to every city and town in our North Central Massachusetts Region.

Parents from participating communities can go to to register their child or children.

Stay tuned for more details!


To Donate to our Early Childhood Literacy Initiative