Why     How     What

From cradle to career, United Way of Westchester and Putnam is committed to education.

46% of children are not ready to succeed in school by the age of 5.
61% of low-income households do not have books in their home

Learning begins at birth and we developed tools to help parents and caregivers interact with young children in a way that will stimulate curiosity and encourage reading.


Born Learning

Everyday life is a learning experience for children. Born Learning is a public engagement campaign that helps parents, grandparents and caregivers explore ways to turn everyday moments into fun learning opportunities.



Over the past 3 years, United Way of Westchester and Putnam (UWWP) collected and distributed nearly 15,000 books across our region to more than 3,000 underprivileged children, from birth to age five. This is a part of our early literacy program called United2Read, which provides books and reading kits to families so parents can do stimulating learning activities with their children.

UWWP reassessed the book distribution aspect of United2Read and decided that, to have a higher level of impact, it was better to serve the most needy communities of children with more frequent distribution of reading kits than to disperse the kits to a greater population.

63% of children are not reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade.



United Way of Westchester and Putnam advocates school districts to utilize the professional support system that helps teachers determine the type of learning and number of minutes each student needs to achieve academic success in literacy.

94% of students who use A2i are able to read at, or above, grade level by the end of 3rd grade


Character Playbook

For more than 45 years, United Way and the National Football League (NFL) have been partners in improving communities and changing lives. The partnership’s latest innovation is Character Playbook—an all-digital, in-school program that teaches students how to build healthy relationships, make good decisions and stand up when they see questionable activity.

Since the program began in 2016, more than 350,000 students nationwide have used Character Playbook as a tool for personal development. The data is showing that Character Playbook teaches students not just how to manage their own relationships and emotions, but how to play a positive role in their school communities. After taking the course, students have expressed high confidence in their ability to navigate tough conversations, resolve conflict in a positive way and communicate effectively.



Over the last few years, United Way has been working with children like Anthony, a 7 year-old in Mt. Vernon who could not read or write, to provide intensive tutoring through our SmartStart initiative. The day he was able to write his full name on his assignment, for the first time, was a powerful moment for him this year. There are many children, like Anthony, who just need a caring adult to spend a little extra time with them. Sign up to volunteer today!



United Way can provide real world experience for college students who are interested in nonprofit management, communications, marketing, social work, data analysis and finance.



United Way is proud to work with the Westchester County Department of Social Services and the Urban League to offer the Ruth Taylor Scholarship Awards to aspiring public service professionals.

Scholarships are awarded for the fall semester. Eligible individuals must be residents of Westchester County pursuing graduate-level education on a full-time basis at accredited U.S. colleges or schools in social welfare or public health. Criteria used in evaluating applications are public service, financial need, and scholastic capacity.

The application for the 2022-2023 scholarship will be available in late April.

For more information contact: Norma Pereira-Gross at 914 997-6700 x706.