12 Pics that Scream "SUMMER IS AWESOME!"

Thursday, July 17, 2014


We asked our staff to submit their best summer photos to us. Here they are and they are FANTASTIC!

 Mmmmm. Watermelon is so good. So says Patty's son, George. We love to see kids eating healthy!

How to Banish "I'M BORED" this Summer

Monday, June 30, 2014


Those two words that parents and caregivers hate to hear from kids.

"I'M BORED."

Most kids count down the last few weeks, days and even hours of school for that awesomeness of summer break. But just a few days in, it starts.

"I'M BORED."

How about sharing this new meaning of the word "BORED" with your child?
Let's make a deal that every time we hear a child say this, we'll ask these questions!

And, if you need camp or program ideas for the kids while they are out-of-school this summer, simply text GETCONNECTED to 96714. Enter your zip code and your child's age and options will be sent to you! A lot of these activities, camps and programs are low cost or free!

And lastly, from our friends at the Kentucky Governor's Office of Early Childhood, here are some easy ways to engage your children this summer, including alphabet hopscotch, an obstacle course and online resources.

Kids can lose up to two months' worth of math and reading skills in the summer, so let's keep them learning while school is out!

How do you help your child avoid summer boredom?


Kindergarten or Bust!

Monday, June 16, 2014



By Breck Thomas-Ross
Choices - they can overwhelm any parent, especially me.  Whether it was selecting the right car seat or crib, I’ve been overwhelmed with parenting choices.  Is this one safe enough?  That one has better ratings. But this one is really cute!  As my daughter got older, the choices changed.  Where should she go to preschool?  How many days should she go?  Half-day or full-day?  Now that we’re approaching kindergarten, I don’t have a choice – I have to get her ready. That’ll be easy, right?

Girls CAN Be Good At Math - Don't Buy Into the Falsehood

Monday, June 2, 2014



By Janet L. Boyd
My granddaughter, Stella Rose, is a better conversationalist than just about any adult I know. Our discussions range from pop music to yoga to whether boogers would taste salty or sweet. At age 7, she considers herself an expert on many things: the value of pink cowgirl boots, the poems of Roald Dahl, Double Gloucester cheese, building fairy houses at Hogan’s Fountain, music by Loretta Lynn and Nancy Sinatra, purses, the movie Annie, and how to steer Canterbury the horse around a barn cat instead of running right over it.  She can talk a blue streak about any of these topics.

Here’s another thing Stella Rose is an expert at – math! During a recent overnight visit with me, she spent the last few minutes before falling asleep figuring the 12 times table in her head. She can add a column of figures faster than I can. She excels at division in first grade. All on her own, she figured out that the sum of the first two digits of her dad’s phone number equals digits three and four, and the sum of digits five and six equals digit seven.


But, sadly, by the time Stella Rose goes to middle school, she may stop believing in herself as an expert in math.


Are We a Product of OUR ENVIRONMENT or of OUR OPPORTUNITIES?

Monday, May 19, 2014

By Karen Napier
Last week I attended the United Way Worldwide Community Leaders Conference in Washington, DC.  The event was filled with presentations and sessions on how we as a community can work together to create community-wide change in education, income and health. The event was truly an inspiring culmination of ideas and passion.

At the closing session all 1,500 of the participants received a special message from Wes Moore, a youth advocate, Army combat veteran, social entrepreneur and host of Beyond Belief on the Oprah Winfrey Network. And now author of his first book The Other Wes Moore.

Wes’ message was simple and clear:  WE ARE A PRODUCT OF OUR OPPORTUNITIES.

5 Easy Ways To Get Your Child Excited About Reading

Monday, May 5, 2014



By Katy Miller
Creating a culture of literacy in your home may seem like a heavy venture. In reality, however, it’s very simple and doesn’t require a tremendous monetary investment. It only requires time, commitment and attention, all of which are free.

In our house, we believe that learning is not confined to a certain time of day or setting. It’s not about passing any kind of test or measuring our child against other children. It’s about being committed to forming a productive and happy adult who will serve the world in a positive, thoughtful and memorable way.

4 Power Skills Kids Need to Succeed and Employers Want

Monday, April 21, 2014


By TJ Delahanty
An Out-of-School Time (OST) program is any program that offers enrichment activities to school-age youth during hours that school is not in session. And OST Programs are recognized as playing an important role in the ultimate success of our children.

Schools are aware that they cannot lay a strong foundation for academic achievement alone. Parents in our community who work know what a key role affordable, safe and supportive alternatives for school-age children play. And community leaders appreciate that many children need much more than just a safe place to “get them off the streets.”

But how exactly do OST programs instill skills in our youth?

What Children Need The Most In Order To Learn Isn't Always In The Classroom

Monday, April 7, 2014


By Kimberly Broecker
Learning is far more than just reading, writing and arithmetic. Education is about the whole child and the whole family. Learning truly begins on the most basic of levels.

After all, a child who is hungry won't be able to concentrate in class. A child who lacks a coat isn't able to play on the playground during cold months and unable to learn needed social skills gained from playing with other kids. Any parent or grandparent who is overwhelmed won't be able to provide the stability that is needed for a child to learn. And a single working mother can't always afford to take precious time off from work to see to the physical needs of her child.  

I Didn’t Realize Third Grade Was So Important

Monday, March 17, 2014


By Melody Murphy
Read with your child for 20 minutes every night.

That’s been the mantra of my kids’ teachers since my oldest (who is now a junior at Ballard High School) was in kindergarten.  I never really thought much of it because I began reading to my children when they were babies, so doing this was not a huge deal.  Although, I admit, I sometimes felt that a teacher REQUIRING this on top of nightly homework was a bit much to ask.

Until now.

What breaks YOUR heart? What makes YOU angry?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Janet Masteron Photo
By Janet Masterson
Nearly 16 years ago, I was given a challenge. Actually, it was more of a directive. I was asked to be Community Coordinated Child Care's (also known as 4-C) point person on public policy. Effective immediately.

At the time, I considered myself to be somewhat of an early childhood expert, but the thought of participating in politics sent chills up my spine. Nevertheless, I do not scare easily, so I said, "challenge accepted."


An Extra 300 Bucks Can Make a Big Difference for Some This Tax Season

Monday, February 24, 2014

John Nevitt Photo
By John Nevitt
Can you believe we're only 50 days from that annual deadline to file state and federal taxes? This time of year, money seems to be on everyone's mind and every penny can count.

For many hard working families, $300 can be the difference between being in crisis and managing a minor emergency. All of us have been there at some point or another; the furnace goes on the fritz, the car needs new brakes, your son falls off his skateboard and requires stitches. Life happens!

For families living from paycheck to paycheck, having a cushion that's as small as $300 can make a big difference. That’s why for the last few years, Metro United Way has partnered with organizations across the state to enact a state Earned Income Credit (EIC). In short, the Kentucky EIC is a tax credit modeled after a similar federal credit that would help low-to-moderate income families make ends meet.


Staying Healthy and Getting Smart with “FamilyWize”

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Jan Sherrell Photo
By Jan Sherrell
Our vision at Metro United Way is a community whose people achieve their fullest potential through education, financial stability and healthy lives – the building blocks of a good quality of life. Without access to quality healthcare, individuals are unable to thrive and this affects our overall community health.

That’s why I’m excited that Metro United Way is participating with FamilyWize, a program that offers free prescription drug discount cards, in a partnership approved by United Way Worldwide.

11 Things You Didn’t Know About 2-1-1

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


By Glen Powell
Today is a special day at Metro United Way. Every year, on February 11th (2/11), we celebrate 2-1-1 Day! It's an opportunity for us to reflect on all of the good things that Metro United Way's 2-1-1 service does to help people in our community.

2-1-1 connects people with resources to help them face life challenges, often for the first time, to the appropriate service provider. This easy to remember phone number saves time and frustration by eliminating the need to navigate a maze of agencies and help-lines.

You may know that one call to 2-1-1 connects people with the help they need, when they need it. But here are 11 things that you may NOT know about 2-1-1:

Early Childhood Education - The Rest of The Story!

Friday, February 7, 2014

By Joe Tolan
Last Thursday, Business First published an article entitled "The Point of Preschool."  First, I want to applaud Business First for speaking about this national issue that affects our community's children and our future. As you may know, I have a personal passion to help change the odds. And Metro United Way is doing just that through programs such as our Excellence Academy early learning centers.

Healthy Smiles, Healthy Lives

Friday, January 31, 2014


Sometimes I feel like oral health is the Rodney Dangerfield of health care!   Rodney was an American comedian and actor, known for the catchphrase "I don't get no respect!" Did you know that more than 10 years ago, the U.S. Surgeon General called oral health disease a “silent epidemic”?

Because I Said I Would

Monday, January 13, 2014


Mary Grissom Photo
By Mary Grissom
Here’s an embarrassing confession:  Those of us who make our living inspiring others to take action – sometimes fail at our own civic participation. 

As Director of Engagement at Metro United Way, I have the privilege of asking others to give, advocate, and volunteer to make long lasting change in our community.  And on occasion, I fall short of fulfilling my own commitments. But in this fresh New Year, I am starting off right.

Can We Unite and do What’s Best for our Kids, our Communities, and our Country?

Friday, December 13, 2013

By Joe Tolan
Can we find issues of paramount importance for a vital future that we can put partisanship aside for?  Oklahoma has!

Recently the New York Times published a powerful story - “ Oklahoma! Where the Kids Learn Early” -  that clearly demonstrates the results we can achieve in early education when we help ensure that all children enter kindergarten ready to learn.

 

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