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Post date: Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 10:25

For the Rowe family, reading and imagination are an integral part of everyday life. Orin, Kate, Spencer (2), and Donovan (4) have participated in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (DPIL) for three years, and although they take advantage of Santa Barbara’s wonderful local libraries, Kate believes that it makes a difference that the boys are able to keep the books from the DPIL

With two children, Kate and Orin experience the value of a well curated selection of books; they can tell that “the books seem to be right on developmentally.” Orin hears Donovan “grabbing vocab” from the...

Post date: Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 10:11

When Colleen Russell was approached to lead a class of nine children in United Way’s Kindergarten Success Institute (KSI) at El Camino Elementary School, she leaped at the opportunity. Colleen grew up in Los Angeles and came from a family of educators. In recalling her childhood she reflected, “my mother and grandmother taught nursery school” it was a “natural” choice her to go into teaching. After graduating college, Colleen took a teaching position at South Central LA’s Lennox Elementary. She hadn’t intended to be a forerunner in education, but being thrown into an impoverished school...

Post date: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 10:47
Kai is a joyful 12 year old boy. He is energetic and a natural leader. But up until this summer Kai was terrified of the water! When he was four years old Kai accidentally fell into the water. His attentive older brother quickly jumped into the pool to save him, but Kai was left traumatized. Before the El Camino Elementary Fun in the Sun group took their trip to the pool this year Kai told the Fun in the Sun staff that he didn't know how to swim and didn't want to get into the water.    Evelyn Cook, the Assistant Site Coordinator, took special interest and assured him things would be ok....
Post date: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 10:44

Diego was known as a troublemaker. During the school year he would act-out in class, be one of the last kids to follow directions, and generally be disaffected with engaging in the classroom.

Diego during Lunch Bunch Fun in the Sun (FITS) provides an opportunity for kids to grow outside of the classroom. Diego's FITS program director decided to redirect Diego's energy toward assuming responsibilities and leadership. First, Diego was entrusted with helping maintain the site and perform program-related tasks.  Soon he began to lead the group to lunch and organize games for the adult...

Post date: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 10:41

When Alma’s family moved to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles, they were hoping for a better life for their children. Alma’s L.A. neighborhood was riddled with violence and did not offer Alma and her sister the opportunities that their parents desired. However, after a few months in Santa Barbara, they realized that their Westside neighborhood was not as safe as they expected.  “I remember seeing gang activity outside of our house; the park (Bohnett) was not the safest place then.” Alma’s parents became even more intentional about giving Alma and her sister, Blanca, access to resources and...

Post date: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 10:53

Ralph*, a bright, inquisitive student excelled in math but struggled with basic reading skills.  Though Ralph was getting ready to enter 4th grade in the fall, he was still reading at the 1st grade level.  Ralph's parents listed reading improvement as the primary learning goal when they enrolled him in the United Learning Center (ULC) Summer 2014 Pilot Program.

Ralph began using ULC's foundational reading program,Lexia Core5, a research-based online program designed to accelerate reading skills for pre-k through 5th grade students. Ralph was immediately motivated by the program's...

Post date: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 10:48

Pancho Occiano is a guy that would smile to you when you walk by him on the street. He is a UCSB graduate that hails from Harvey, Louisiana (in the New Orleans Metro) and his presence carries a mix of California cool and southern hospitality!

After finishing at UCSB Pancho found himself working with the County of Santa Barbara Auditor Controller’s office. While he was getting acclimated to being out of college and integrating into the community he heard about United Way through a presentation during the County of Santa Barbara’s Annual Charitable Giving Campaign, which made him...

Post date: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 12:44

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Post date: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 11:11

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