To change the future of our community, we need to start with our youngest by setting them up for success from kindergarten to graduation and beyond.

Children’s earliest experiences – before they even enter school – can determine their ability to succeed for the rest of their lives. Early access to quality education is essential to promoting their development and learning into the future.

Early Childhood Literacy

When’s the best time to build a child’s brain for success? At birth! Studies show the first three years of a child’s life are the most critical. Once in school, reading at grade level by the end of third grade is the single most important predictor of success. However, a lack of support, available resources and absences put children at risk for academic failure.

United Way makes it easy through with resources available to all. We’re starting our kids off on the right foot even before they can walk! United Way is committed to instilling a love of reading in all children in the Tennessee Valley. 


Having a mentor greatly increases a student’s potential for success. In fact, children and youth who have mentors experience improved self-esteem, greater academic achievement, increased motivation in school and better lifestyle choices.

Become a mentor

Education Programs We Support

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

A free book program that promotes literacy skills by mailing a book every month to children from birth to age five.

Sign Up Now

Chattanooga Basics

The Basics are five fun, simple and powerful ways that every family can use to help every child have a great start in life.

Learn more

It takes connected community

We partner with local agencies focused on empowering every individual to achieve their full potential where it matters most: where we live.

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