Sara and Maddie Explore Their Interests

United Way's ALICE Enrichment Fund gets ALICE off the sidelines

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Sara and Maddie love to be active, play outside and have fun with their friends.

But their parents, Anne and Chris, struggle to afford extracurricular activities. “We definitely live paycheck to paycheck and I budget down to the last penny,” says Chris, who works two jobs.

With every cent accounted for, it’s difficult to find funds for extra expenses that could help put Sara and Maddie in activities outside of school. But, with the help of United Way’s ALICE Enrichment Fund, they could.

Research shows that children who participate in enrichment activities have improved levels of physical and mental health, and academic achievement. This leads to an “activity gap” between students from lower-income households and their more affluent peers. These children have fewer opportunities to develop interests, skills, habits, connections, and knowledge that help them succeed both in the classroom and out.

United Way of Western Connecticut’s ALICE Enrichment Fund provides ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families financial subsidies for their children to participate in extracurricular activities, like swimming, music, dance and sports classes that parents would not normally be able to afford.

“We usually would just take a trip to Chick-Fil-A, so the kids can play in the indoor playground and be active,” Anne says. But with support from the ALICE Enrichment Fund, they can put their girls in formal activities, and give them more opportunities to succeed.

Together, we make a difference by being a champion for hard-working, struggling families in our community.

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