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Joining forces for education

As one of only six United Ways chosen by Strive Together to be part of a nationwide “Collective Impact” initiative, United Way of San Diego County is at the forefront of implementing innovative educational approaches in the region. Funded by a $1 million investment from Target (NYSE: TGT), the announcement was made at the Clinton Global Initiative conference in late September.

“This is a tremendous honor for us,” said Doug Sawyer, president and CEO, “helping us build a new civic infrastructure to increase our work in early-grade reading and kindergarten readiness for the San Diego region.”

The local United Way will receive a year of strategic coaching and support for its multiple Collective Impact efforts, where all partners use the same data, benchmarks and goals -- and, ultimately, work together to ensure students’ success. Critical to that success is community input and collaboration, combined with tracked data to drive all strategies and decisions.

“We chose San Diego for this initiative because it’s a strong example of leadership and significant community progress,” said Jeff Edmondson, managing director of Strive Together, which connects, supports and facilitates a growing network of communities for the success of every child from cradle to career. “This is the first step in forming a large network that is leading to dramatic transformation across the country.”

United Way’s Collective Impact efforts include serving as the anchor organization for the City Heights Partnership for Children, providing the initial programming and funding for the Military Family Collaborative, advising and funding the Diamond District Reading Pilot, and funding a portion of the Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood, as well as anchoring, convening and supporting many of the region’s homelessness efforts.

“We look forward to building the strongest cradle-to-college or career pipeline in City Heights -- one that will serve San Diego regionally as we come together to support every child every step of the way,” said Tad Parzen, executive director, City Heights Partnership for Children. “The time is now for San Diego to become a place where all children thrive. Our quality of life, economy and the fabric of our neighborhoods depend on it.”

-Submitted by United Way.

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