With another school year about to begin, I’d like to acknowledge the important work that United Way of San Juan County does to ensure that all children in our community have the support they need to thrive in the classroom.
For many years, United Way has provided funding for a Primary Intervention Program in our local Head Start classrooms. With more than 20 years of operations, the PIP playroom in San Juan Island’s Head Start preschool provides special creative play opportunities for three through five- year-olds to build valuable social and emotional learning skills prior to entering elementary school. PIP is a critical first step in creating empathetic classrooms that minimize conflict and stress while nurturing calm, cooperative learning.
United Way also supports our Readiness-to-Learn Program, helping school-aged children and their families overcome non-academic barriers to learning. Sometimes that’s as simple as providing a new backpack or a warm winter jacket. Other times it means providing individualized tutoring, linking a family to counseling or making sure they have access to adequate healthcare. Such support and encouragement for children and their parents increases parental involvement in school, translating to better grades, behaviors, and attitudes – outcomes that clearly benefit our community at large.
We hope that San Juan County residents choose to show support of such services and programs by contributing to the 2016 United Way of San Juan County campaign. Every contribution makes a positive, real-life impact on children and families living in our community.
Jennifer Armstrong and Staff
SJI Family Resource Center