United Way believes that everyone can play a role in ensuring that children grow up to be productive citizens and members of our community. This begins with a good education that is the foundation for a child’s success in work and life, along with providing supportive programming that helps youth develop necessary skills for their futures. To meet this goal, key issues addressed by UWBC and its supported programs in this focus area include early care and school readiness, school success and positive youth development. United Way works toward this goal by funding programs at agency partners, as well as grants and collaborative partnerships. Agency Partners and their supported programs in the area of Education are listed below.

Community Initiatives and Collaborations
  • Ready.Set.READ!: RSR is a collaboration among United Way of Berks County, the education and business communities and community organizations that seek to improve reading proficiency in students by the end of third grade. The collective work focuses on four key strategies: implement school-readiness activities for pre-school children to support language and per-literacy development in young children, connect tutors with early grade students needing supplemental instruction, engage parents to promote literacy, and mobilize the community around this work. To learn more, visit
  • Summer Learning Coalition: As part of the Ready.Set.READ! the initiative, UWBC convened a group of county stakeholders to determine how they might work together to improve reading outcomes for children and youth and address the problem of summer learning loss. Learn more about Summer Learning
  • Oakbrook Collective Impact Council: UWBC has convened a group of stakeholders to address needs and empower residents in the Oakbrook community. These efforts include a Summer Reading program conducted in partnership with Berks Community Health Center, Customers Bank, Reading Housing Authority and the Reading School District. To learn more about our efforts in Oakbrook, visit Oakbrook Collective Impact Council
United Way Grants

Visit the Grants Overview page to learn about the local community organizations and agencies that have received United Way grants.

United Way Agency Partners and Supported Programs
Berks County Intermediate Unit Child CareFinancial assistance for access to quality childcare for parents unable to afford private care and ineligible, or on the waiting list for government funding.
Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Berks CountyOne-to-one or group mentoring programs for at-risk youth to improve their lives.
Birdsboro Community Memorial CenterOut of school education programs for youth of Birdsboro and vicinity to assist students with achieving academic success and grade-level proficiency.
Centro Hispano Daniel Torres, Inc.Bilingual and bicultural information and referral services to help members of the Latino community gain self-sufficiency. Parental education and support to improve children’s school readiness through “Abriendo Puertas”.
Communities In Schools of the Lehigh ValleyIntegrated student support and services to improve attendance, behavior and academic performance for students in the Reading School District.
Girl Scouts of Eastern PennsylvaniaOutcomes-based programs for girls 5-17, in the City of Reading, to acquire and develop assets and skills for a positive adolescence and future.
Hawk Mountain Council: Boy Scouts of AmericaCharacter development, citizenship training, and personal fitness for boys 6-18 and young men and women 14-20.
Olivet Boys & Girls Club of Reading and Berks CountyComprehensive, outcome driven, youth after-school and summer program focusing on education, good character and citizenship and healthy lifestyles.
Opportunity HouseEmergency shelter services for men, women, children, and families. Child care at Second Street Learning Center provides early care and education services for infants, preschoolers and school-age children. Services to reduce trauma for child sexual abuse victims at the Children’s Alliance Center.
The Children’s Home of ReadingCHOR’s foster care and adoption program provides services to families involved in the child welfare system including training to become approved resource parents to provide temporary care for children in need.
The Salvation Army: Reading CorpsEmergency assistance programs to help with utility costs, rent costs, prescriptions, food and clothing. Supportive Housing Program helps homeless and disabled individuals find permanent solutions to their homelessness. Educational programming for youth and adults through Learning Center.
YMCA of Reading & Berks CountyDay and evening child care services. Baby University provides parents, parents-to-be and caregivers knowledge and skills needed to establish strong families and help their children reach their potential. Transitional housing programs for homeless men, women and children.