At United Way, we bring together the right mix of people and organizations to identify community needs and support programming to address those needs. Each year, over 190,000 people in Berks County are helped through the work of United Way and our partners.
We work closely with 33 Agency Partners and provide funding for a wide range of programs within the focus areas of Education, Financial Stability, Health, and Safety Net Services. Learn more about our Agency Partners and their United Way-funded programs services.
United Way offers several initiatives designed to help people give and receive help throughout Berks.
Ready.Set.READ!, managed by United Way of Berks County, is an initiative designed to improve literacy throughout our community.
Third grade reading ability is a leading indicator of long-term educational and life success. Children who do not read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school and 13 times more likely to drop out if they are also living in poverty. Based on local PSSA scores, nearly a quarter of Berks County 3rd graders were not reading proficiently, representing schools in urban, suburban and rural areas of the county. It takes all of us working together to help tackle this issue and work towards success. Volunteer opportunities are available, ranging from serving as tutors, volunteering with children and conducting book and school supply drives. Learn more about Ready. Set. READ! at ReadySetReadBerks.org
The SingleCare Prescription Discount Card (formerly FamilyWize) offers discounts on prescription medications not covered by insurance. Accepted at most pharmacies in Berks County, the SingleCare card is not insurance but may save you money on your next prescription. Find out how much you can save and download your card at singlecare.com.
Volunteering is easy when you visit United Way of Berks County’s volunteer portal. Click here to search for opportunities now.
We expand our work by awarding Rapid Response, Venture, LIVE UNITED and Summer Learning grants. These grants support unanticipated changes jeopardizing a program’s effectiveness, expand programming and focus on grassroots programs.
Creating Ripples of Change with the Harwood Institute
We know lasting change only occurs when people and communities lead the way; that’s why United Way of Berks County is working with The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, along with Berks Alliance, Centro Hispano and The Wyomissing Foundation, to spur education and community transformation in Reading.
The coalition is joining residents and community partners to focus on two primary goals of this initiative: (1) generate community-led transformation on education concerns that matter to people; (2) strengthen the civic culture of Reading so the community can take effective, sustainable action. The group is acting on three community-driven action items: early childhood education, English as a Second Language and after/out-of-school programs. As a part of this work, we facilitated a series of community conversations with residents to turn outward and gain public knowledge, with a central philosophy of “doing with…not to”. Teams are now planning action steps around community goals.
As we work with residents and partners, we will learn together and inspire each other around shared challenges and aspirations. At the heart of this initiative is the belief that by working together, the people of Reading can build a more hopeful, equitable, fair and inclusive path forward.
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