Helen Keller believed in the power of partnerships; she understood that people accomplish more good by working together than they do on their own. When United Way of Rhode Island’s partners, Hasbro Inc., Women United, and Young Leaders Circle heard that a funding gap may prevent local children from participating in summer learning programs, they knew something needed to be done.
Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative (HSLI), a Rhode Island based, nationally-recognized summer learning program, is the result of a strong partnership between Hasbro Inc., United Way, and the community. By supporting HSLI, Hasbro Inc. helps children avoid summer learning loss; the company’s generosity has been instrumental in the success of students throughout the state. Once again, they demonstrated their dedication to summer learning by increasing their total gift to $225,000 in order to help fill the gap.
In addition to Hasbro Inc., United Way’s Women United and Young Leaders Circle announced their support. Childhood literacy is Women United’s main focus; the affinity group hosts fundraising events throughout the year to support grade-level reading in Rhode Island. With summer learning so closely aligned with their mission, Women United donated $65,000 to help. United Way’s Young Leaders Circle, an affinity group for young Rhode Islanders who share a passion for philanthropy, joined Hasbro Inc. and Women United by committing $20,000 to support summer learning.
Now, with a fundraising goal of $35,000 remaining, United Way calls on corporate sponsors, local businesses, and members of the community to support summer learning. Anthony Maione, President and CEO of UWRI, explained, “We need the community’s support to ensure more students are able to participate.”
Why is HSLI so important?
While some students spend summer vacation at camp, others are unable to afford these expensive programs. Taking long breaks away from the classroom puts children at risk of experiencing summer learning loss; a phenomenon which results in the loss of up to two months of math and reading skills.
HSLI helps students avoid summer learning loss — instead, participants average gains of 30 percent in math and 22 percent in reading. The six-week program combines academics and service-learning; this approach helps young people connect their education to their communities — encouraging them to identify and address issues that impact those around them.
By: Jason Boulay, Communications Coordinator, UWRI