Overview Donna Mobley

How we’re solving education issues together

We’re helping kids read at grade level as early as possible so they will graduate from high school.

41% of the 739 kids in our programs are now reading at grade level.

United Way is taking the lead on our local Campaign for Grade Level Reading. This collaborative effort, made up of funders, nonprofit partners and community members, is working to ensure more of our low-income children succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, careers and active citizenship. Imagine the collective impact we can have when everyone comes together to extinguish academic failure from the lives of our children.

Now more than ever, our community needs you, your energy, passion, and commitment. Let’s work together as first responders to meet our community’s greatest needs.


United Way receives 3,000+ books for children
Thank you to The Molina Foundation

United Way California Capital Region received a book grant of more than 3,000 new books from The Molina Foundation as part of the #ShareAStory campaign.

United Way is excited to distribute these books to various locations in the Sacramento region so more children in the Sacramento area have access to quality reading materials throughout the year.

Partners receiving books:

Center Joint Unified School District
Elk Grove Unified School District
Robla School District
Washington Unified School District


April 2016

April 26, 2016:  Capital Public Radio - Robla To Expand School Meal Program

April 25, 2016:  Capital Public Radio – Robla School District Partners With United Way 


Summer Literacy Activities
Dowload hundreds of fun learning activities

Summer, while it can be fun and games, is also a great opportunity for children to retain their knowledge. The Literacy Activities Kit is aimed at combatting summer learning loss and preventing the gap in learning so that children may return to school with their knowledge intact and ready for new material.

Here you will find hundreds of literacy activities to help keep your child learning throughout the summer.


National March into Literacy Month
3 important reasons to read to your child

Because March is National Literacy Month it is a great time to remember the importance of reading, especially for young children. Studies show that children who are reading at or above grade level by the start of 4th grade perform better in high school and are more likely to graduate than those students who are not.

Literacy education begins before a child starts school. Reading aloud to them is the most important thing you can do as a parent to help insure your child’s future academic success. Here are just a few benefits that reading with a child for 15 minutes a day has:


United Way has made summer learning a priority
Summer Litaracy Coalition

Why Summer? Low income students lose 2 or more months of learning achievement every summer. These students begin with lower achievement scores, but during the school year, they progress at about the same rate as their peers. During the summer months disadvantaged children tread water at best, or even fall behind.

John Hopkins University research found that “about two-thirds” of ninth-grade academic achievement gap between disadvantaged youngsters and their more advantaged peers can be explained by what happens over the summer during the elementary school years.” As a matter of fact, by 5th grade low income children without summer learning opportunities are already 2 years behind their peers.


Summer in a Box combats the “Summer Slide”
We're ensuring children are reading at grade-level

Summer can be a challenging time for families to provide their children with learning opportunities and many students fall behind when they return to school the following year. This summer, United Way partnered with Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency to battle the ”summer slide” with over 500 kids in the Sacramento region.


September Attendance Awareness Month – Closing Remarks
Attendance is important everyday during the school year, so make every month Attendance Awareness month!

Thank you for tuning into United Way California Capital Region’s call to action this month highlighting Attendance Awareness. As a recap, chronic absence is an underlying issue that often goes amiss and flies under the radar in the education system. We here at United Way say enough.


September Attendance Awareness Month – Part 3
How after-school programs can reinforce good attendance

Afterschool programs can play a vital role by partnering with schools to reinforce good attendance habits. Not only can afterschool programs help with improving a student’s overall academic performance, research shows they can help a student’s attendance record by:


September Attendance Awareness Month – Part 2
Tips for parents and family members

Parents, guardians, and family members all play a crucial role in ensuring their children achieve a good attendance record. It is suggested that students should not miss more than 9 days of school out of the year in order to be on track with their school work and classroom learning.

Reluctance to go to school could hint at deeper issues: struggling in school, bullying, or other potentially serious problems. Take some quite time to talk to your child and find out why they are reluctant to go to school. Reach out to your school for help if you need it.

Good attendance is a high indicator of graduation rates and a great habit to hone for future success in life.

Check out 5 great tips to engage with your child and foster good attendance from


September is Attendance Awareness Month
Correlation between school attendance and academic success


What is chronic absenteeism? Chronic absenteeism is defined as students missing out on school 10% or more of the school year. That is equivalent to 18 excused or unexcused days out of a 180-day school year, or two to three days out of the month. This is especially troublesome for children K-3rd grade.

Good attendance is critical for early literacy because every day a student is absent, it is more time out of classroom learning time and they fall behind in school. Young elementary students and children with risk factors, such as chronic health conditions, poverty, and children of color are especially vulnerable to falling behind in school due to poor attendance.


About the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
Making a Collective Impact on Education

United Way became the lead convener of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in 2014. The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a nationwide initiative dedicated to empowering young children to read at grade-level by the end of the third grade. 

Research shows that proficiency in reading by the end of third grade enables students to shift from learning to read to reading to learn, and to master the more complex subject matter they encounter in the fourth grade curriculum.

Success Story

Westfield Village Elementary School
Cady's Book Club

For many low-income families, every dollar has to be stretched in order to put food on the table. Buying books for their children just may not be possible for some families. However, as studies show, nourishing children’s minds with literature greatly improves their performance in school. And there is no better place to start than at home. 


Giving the Community A Voice
SB 572

On Wednesday, April 15th, United Way California Capital Region CEO, Stephanie R. M. Bray, testified before the Sentate Education Committee in support of California State Senator, Dr. Richard Pan’s proposed bill, SB 572.


Education Funded Partners

United Way’s certified nonprofit funded partners are the integral forces creating change and bringing to life our vision of stronger and more compassionate communities through our education initiatives.

  • Amador-Tuolumne Community Resources
  • Boys & Girls Club of Placer County
  • Boys & Girls Club of El Dorado
  • Boys & Girls Club Greater Sacramento
  • New Morning Youth & Family Services
  • Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center
  • Yolo County Children’s Alliance
  • Yolo Family Resource Center (Davis Bridge)
STAR Readers Video

STAR Readers Video
Sponsored by Golden 1 Credit Union

United Way’s STAR Readers project is ensuring students are reading at grade level by fourth grade. So far our outcome is 42% of the 663 STAR Readers are now reading at grade level. Support this project and join the movement to continue to improve the results and shape our future.

Thank you to our generous sponsor Golden 1 Credit Union.


Watch our STAR Readers in Action

Watch our STAR Readers in Action
Boys & Girls Club of El Dorado County Western Slope

A great video made by our certified nonprofit partner Boys & Girls Club of El Dorado County Western Slope.