The Power of Perseverance

Amy fights to make a better life for her family.

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Imagine raising your child in a neighborhood where 70% of children can't read on grade-level. Children who do not read on grade-level by third grade are 74% more likely to drop out of high school—continuing the cycle of poverty for less privileged students. Consider the pressure a parent must face as their child enters school. The average income in your neighborhood is a meager $16,000 per year. Is your ambition for your child’s success enough in a neighborhood so under-resourced?

This is real-life for Amy.

She lives in Mott Haven, in the South Bronx—in the poorest congressional district in the country. Amy does everything she can to ensure her children succeed. She utilizes every resource she can get her hands on. United Way of New York City’s ReadNYC® program to improve grade-level reading by third grade is one of those resources.
Amy enrolled her daughter, Amaya, in ReadNYC’s Once Upon a Summer program—a literacy and arts camp to help fight summer learning loss.

“I wasn’t sure if putting her in an educational setting throughout the summer would be too much for her since she’s in school year-round.”

Amy’s daughter now participates in ReadNYC’s Expanded Day Learning Program—pairing schools with community partners to fill curriculum gaps and offer personalized learning, mentoring, sports, arts and service learning during a seamless extended day.


“Amaya is reading at a grade-level above her grade. United Way of New York City’s program has been instrumental in her success thus far.”

Multiple factors affect a child’s educational success. ReadNYC’s impact goes beyond students. Taking a two-generation approach, ReadNYC helps both children and their families succeed. UWNYC offer educational supports that impact school aged-children, while also strengthening the financial capabilities and education of their parents.

It also empowers principals and teachers through mentoring and professional development, providing educators with the training and resources they need to help students achieve the critical milestone of grade-level reading.
Unfortunately, Amy’s circumstances are not unique. But Amy is an example of perseverance and resourcefulness, and ReadNYC is a critical means to her family’s success.

“Often times I reflect on where our family would be if ReadNYC was not a part of it…Amaya wouldn’t be able to complete books in five minutes; I would not be an undergraduate student—it wouldn’t have happened without ReadNYC.”

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