How We Help: Education

Helping Keep Kids on Track to graduation and Beyond.

Education is a cornerstone for success in school, work and life. It also benefits the whole community: High school graduates have higher earning potential, contribute more to their local economies, are more engaged in their communities, and are more likely to raise kids who also graduate, and go on to higher education or work.

Strong, productive communities are dependent upon a skilled workforce that can compete in a global economy. It’s not enough to intervene in high school. It is critical to reaching children early — even before they start school. Once a young person falls behind, it can be very difficult to catch up. And if a child isn’t reading at grade level by 3rd grade, they may never catch up. United Way is working to change that, helping to ensure that every child has a chance for success in school, work and life by investing in programs that produce results. This philosophy has been the reason for our investment in the Master Teacher Program to help support early childhood education. This program provides 160 hours of hands on training for VPK and 3/4 year old teachers in daycare settings at no charge. You can learn more about the results of this program by reading the Master Teacher Program page. If you would like to learn more about this program contact Thawanna Hurge at

United Way is about more than short-term charity for a few; we’re about lasting solutions that build opportunity for all. We look at the big picture to assess which resources are lacking or need strengthening, then we address those gaps to keep kids on track to graduation and beyond.

Master Teacher Program

Under the supervision of a Master Teacher, early childhood teachers apply knowledge gained in classroom settings to develop positive, practical teaching skills.

With a focus on language development, the Master Teacher Program is designed to improve the quality of preschool experiences, while helping children to enter kindergarten ready to succeed.

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Family welcomes home USA army soldier.

Born Learning Trails

United Way of Lake and Sumter Counties is pleased to provide, in partnership with Lake County, and the Board of Lake County Commissioners, multiple Born Learning Trails across our beautiful county. Plans to expand the parks in which these learning opportunities are provided are under way and in the meantime, if you would like to hop, skip, and jump your way through our beautiful parks, head out for a stroll and fun day of learning in the sun at any of the participating locations!

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Photo 2, Parent Lending Library, sent from MD, 06.22.22

Parent Lending Library

Through the generosity of grants and sponsorships, Parent Lending Libraries are being placed in early childhood centers across Lake and Sumter Counties. These Parent Lending Libraries allow parents and guardians to conveniently borrow books to read with their child every day, providing the early literacy skills that prepare children to enter school ready to succeed!

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