Square One Project

Overview

Join us at Square One.
Ending poverty starts in school

Join us at Square One.

The numbers are clear: school is square one for reaching all families and ensuring children are healthy and successful in life.

Sacramento-area kids who graduate from college are 62% less likely to live in poverty than those who drop out of high school.

In 2016, we launched our Square One Project, a 20-year commitment to significantly reduce poverty by increasing the number of kids who graduate from high school ready for college or career. 

As the backbone of the Square One Project, United Way brings together the community and our partners to provide kids and families the resources they need to succeed and remove barriers that prevent kids from getting an education.

We have already seen results in the first four years addressing issues such as hunger, housing, education, finances and more - through our four building blocks for success. Our community now faces new and deepening hurdles, which changes some of our work. We are working with community partners to provide families with tools and resources for their kids to succeed.
 

Overview

Keep Kids in School

We help kids attend school in any environment. We are partnering to provide support and case management to help families remain in a stable home and on track for success. In addition, we’re working to bridge the digital divide to provide broadband access and computers to low income households.

PAST SUCCESS
75 families received case management in the first year. 62,338 meals were served at 21 school and community sites last year.

UP NEXT
Continue to provide case management for housing stability so kids can attend school.

Overview

Keep Kids on Track

We help kids reach important educational milestones. If kids aren’t reading at grade level by 4th grade, they will have a hard time keeping up across multiple subjects for years to come. We are working with schools to provide online literacy tools for teachers and students.

PAST SUCCESS
385 students were helped by our senior volunteers to improve reading skills last year.

UP NEXT
Launch online volunteer tutoring for reading and online literacy tools to support teachers and students.
 

Overview

Set High Expectations

We help kids and their families aim high and achieve their goals. Kids with at least $1 in a college savings account are 3x more likely to go to college and 4x more likely to graduate from college. Our Kindergarten to College (K2C) savings program is making college education a reality by seeding each K2C savings account with $25. We also help local foster youth by establishing Individual Development Accounts (IDA). 

PAST SUCCESS
262 college savings accounts were opened at 10 participating schools last year.

Overview

Ensure Strong Support

More than 1/3 of households in the Sacramento region were a paycheck away from homelessness before the pandemic hit – that number is going to rise in the coming months. Through our Free Tax Prep program, we help families file tax returns for free and apply for tax credits.

PAST SUCCESS
More than 400 IRS-certified volunteers helped 7,000 families file taxes and earn $10.5M in refunds.

UP NEXT
Continue to provide free tax preparation for qualifying families.