Success by 6

The mission of United Way of West Alabama's Success By 6 initiative is to provide programs and services to at-risk children from birth to age six. Our mission is to help ensure that, soon, all children in West Alabama will enter school healthy, confident, and ready to learn.

Dolly Parton Imagination Library:

Available in Bibb, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Pickens, Sumter, and Tuscaloosa

  • The Dolly Parton Foundation provides books to children in designated areas monthly from birth until five years of age. UWWA pays the cost of shipping these books to the childrens' homes.
  • Success By 6 implemented the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) in Tuscaloosa County September 2008.
  • Currently, about 6,400 children receive free books each month in West Alabama.
  • Since the DPIL began, almost 14,000 children have been part of the program.
  • DPIL has given over 500,000 free books to children in West Alabama since 2008.
  • Research has shown children who are read to become better readers, develop critical thinking skills, and have better language skills.

Getting Ready for Kindergarten Readiness Calendar:

  • In its 19th year of production, Success By 6 has distributed over 175,000 copies of our annual Getting Ready for Kindergarten Readiness Calendar to children across Alabama.
  • The calendar is intended for all four and five-year old children who will enter kindergarten the following year.
  • It is designed to help families ensure their children are ready to successfully enter kindergarten.
  • It is an August to July calendar, so when the child finishes the calendar, it is time to begin school.
  • Each month focuses on a different learning topic with suggested activities the parent/guardian and child can do together.
  • Over 6000 free copies of the calendar are distributed annually to children in West Alabama. Another 10,000 copies are provided to other organizations and agencies for a nominal cost to offset printing and shipping fees.

JumpStart Kindergarten

  • JumpStart is a four-week half day summer program for children entering kindergarten with little or no preschool experience.
  • The program began in 2002 and since that time has served more than 3900 children.
  • During the program, teachers are able to observe and assess students' development, which can result in a child receiving intervention services sooner rather than later.
  • In the summer of 2021, 105 children in four West Alabama Counties participated in JumpStart.
  • Students are administered pre and post assessments to measure program effectiveness. Program data has confirmed that JumpStart Kindergarten has a significantly positive impact on children's academic and social-emotional learning.

Bright Minds Volunteer Reading Program

  • Bright Minds is a volunteer reading program in childcare centers and in pre-k andkindergarten classrooms in public schools.  
  • Volunteers are asked to donate a minimum of one hour each month. 
  • In 2021, 107 Bright Minds Volunteers read approximately 18,000 minutes to children.

Wash, Read, Repeat!

  • The Wash, Read, Repeat program is designed to encourage children and families to engage in reading and literacy activities while completing a weekly family chore – laundry. Typically, families spend many mindless hours at the laundromat, while waiting for their clothing to wash and dry. The idea behind the Wash, Read, Repeat program is to provide an area in the laundromat that encourages children and families to engage with books during this time.
  • The Success By 6 program creates “Reading Nooks” for children and families in local laundromats, equipped with a bookshelf, small sofa, rug, and a child-sized table and chairs. Each nook is outfitted with books and literacy resources that can be used while families wait for their laundry to be washed and dried.
  • Weekly story time sessions are held to engage children and families in reading activities to promote early literacy and a love of books.

Read for the Record:

  • Read for the Record is a national program designed to mobilize a record number of volunteers each year to read the same book to students across the country. United Way of West Alabama's Success By 6 has sponsored this event for 12 years in our community. In 2021, Success By 6 coordinated efforts across West Alabama by providing copies of books to school systems, child care centers, and early childhood programs across West Alabama. 
  • On October 28, 2021, a record number of 19,189 children an volunteers across all 9 of our West Alabama Counties read the children's book, Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon by Kat Khang.
  • Stay tuned for upcoming information on Read for the Record 2022!

Outstanding instructional materials and in-service training:

Offered for all interested public school, private school, childcare center, and Head Start teachers and families across West Alabama.

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