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June 6, 2023

Community Celebrates Success of United Way’s After-School Program: Game-changing program helps students and parents thrive.

Westchester, NY – United Way of Westchester and Putnam (UWWP) unveiled its groundbreaking new free bilingual after-school program, Education United, and the results are already in: It’s a resounding success!

See what The Journal News had to say about the program here!

With nearly 200 students enrolled, the program’s success is evident. To celebrate this incredible achievement, the organization held an open house last month to share the news. The event allowed the community to hear from program organizers, parents, and local politicians. Plans to start an additional program at another local school are also underway.  

United Way launched the Education United After-School Academic and Enrichment Program in February at Brookside Elementary School in Ossining. The inclusive program was designed to provide children with a safe and supportive environment to learn, grow, and have fun after school hours. The free program offers a range of activities to support academic achievement, including homework help, arts and crafts, fitness and wellness activities, social-emotional learning activities, STEM activities, and more in both English and Spanish. There is also a range of services for parents of the program participants, including free Lyft transportation, work readiness and career awareness, and access to United Way’s essential goods distribution. In addition, parents do not need to worry about after-school care or snacks while their children are in the program, which helps to reduce those costs for families.  

“With an enthusiastic team of dedicated professionals, the after-school program has quickly become a beacon of hope for families in the community,” Nicole Colon, Director of Educational Programs for UWWP said. “Everyone involved works very hard to make this a good experience for the kids and their families, and providing this service to the community is a joy. Many of our students and their families are bilingual and have recently relocated to the area, so this is an important support system for them.”  

The event included program tours, which provided attendees with a firsthand look at the activities and resources offered to students. Additionally, the event included an Essential Goods for Basic Needs distribution, which provided parents and kids with school supplies, backpacks, socks, mattresses, plush toys, hygiene kits, and tote bags free of charge.

Missed the Open House? No problem.
Check out this footage from Fox News and News 12 for a glimpse into the program.

“The kids loved the books. That was the night’s hit,” Avery Zuvic, director of community impact for United Way of Westchester and Putnam, said. Zuvic and other United Way team members set up the essential goods distribution to provide families with an easy, fun shopping experience.

The Education United program is funded by the Nita M. Lowry 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant, which provides federal funding to support after-school programs for students in high-poverty and low-performing schools. United Way of Westchester and Putnam runs the Education United program in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle, a leading youth development organization that provides a range of programs and services to young people in communities across Westchester County.

“We are proud to partner with the Boys and Girls Club to provide high-quality after-school programs to students in our community,” President and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam Tom Gabriel said. “This collaboration allows us to leverage our resources and expertise to provide students with the tools they need to succeed academically and personally.”

The success of the Education United Academic and Enrichment After-School program is a testament to the United Way of Westchester and Putnam’s commitment to providing support and resources to local families. To learn more about United Way of Westchester and Putnam, or how you can support the program: visit