A quality education is the best path out of poverty.

What we do

We’re increasing the academic success of our youth by making quality child care accessible, fostering early reading skills and supporting students through graduation.

How we do it

To get there, we keep track of child care centers and children enrolled, kindergarten readiness and third grade reading levels, attendance rates, graduation rates and annual goals.

So far
we've helped:

For the 2016-17 academic year, 1,640 children received scholarships and attended high-quality early childhood programs through the Indy Preschool Scholarship Program and On My Way Pre-K.

Due to public policy efforts, the Indiana General Assembly expanded the On My Way Pre-K program from 5 pilot counties to 20 counties in House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1004-2017.

650 students received ReadUP tutoring, thanks to the dedication of 1,050 volunteer tutors at 39 ReadUP sites and schools in five counties

4,944 children at 72 participating child care providers received a book each month from September through May through United Way’s Early Readers Club partnership with the Indianapolis Public Library.

Education Programs

  • ReadUP
  • All IN 4 Pre-K
  • Readers United


What it is

ReadUP connects volunteers with local schools, where they read to two students for 30 minutes every week, helping kids get on track - and stay on track - with grade-level literacy. We know that children who read at or above grade-level are more likely to succeed in school and in life.

How it Helps

By pairing volunteers with students who are struggling to read, we can change the course of their academic future. They also grow in confidence and find an appreciation for reading with the help of our dedicated volunteers.

What you can do

Volunteer just one hour a week to impact the life of a child in your community.

Sign up for Summer ReadUP

Engage Your Employees with ReadUP

Your company is valued partner of United Way of Central Indiana. We encourage you to utilize the ReadUP Toolkit and online resources to share the program with your team. There are multiple ways to get involved in ReadUP!

Learn everything you need to know

All IN 4 Pre-K

What it is

All IN 4 Pre-K is a campaign of Hoosier families, community advocates and business leaders working together to expand access to high-quality pre-k in Indiana. Indiana has an opportunity to give every child in our state access to a pre-k education that prepares them for school. Hoosiers like you have the opportunity to go all in, today, for our young children.

How it helps

For Indiana's children to succeed in school and in life, high-quality child care and early education is critical. But far too many families in our community are unable to afford the costs. In turn, the child’s education suffers, and a barrier is created just as they begin their path to self-sufficiency.

What we've done

Many years ago, we took the bold step of making quality early childhood education and pre-k advocacy a top priority for our community. In April 2017, the General Assembly voted to expand Indiana’s pre-k for low-income children with the passage of a pre-k expansion bill and approved a budget which includes an investment of $22 million per year in the next biennium budget.

What you can do

While we are making an impact, we need your help to expand the number of students participating in these programs in the future. Please join us in advocating for the state of Indiana to appropriate funding for all 4-year-olds from low-income families without access to other resources to receive a high-quality early childhood education focused on kindergarten readiness.

Readers United

Readers United matches volunteer readers with preschools in Boone, Hamilton and Morgan counties to introduce and promote a love of reading. The goal of this volunteer opportunity is to provide a consistent way for caring adults to read aloud to preschool children in a structured environment. Interested in volunteering? Submit the online registration form.

Conquering Fears

“My first day I was very, very nervous and unsure of what to expect,” ReadUP volunteer Abby admitted, until she was paired with Aries. Since then, Aries has improved her test scores, reached grade-level literacy, and found a love for reading.

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Finding His Independence

When Trent arrived at United Way-supported St. Mary’s Child Center, he rarely spoke and struggled to eat. With the help of St. Mary’s Child Center and United Way, Trent became an independent boy who engages in classroom life.

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