You are here

Youth Literacy and Families

You want to care for children's education and growth and care for families in Rockbridge County. United Way of Rockbridge can help you do that by supporting early childhood literacy programs to nurture a culture of lifelong learning.

Your Funding Support through United Way of Rockbridge

Blue Ridge CASA for Children

Blue Ridge CASA successfully advocates for children who have been victims of abuse and neglect. They do so by recruiting, selecting, training and supervising volunteers to advocate for children age’s birth to 18 years living in households under the poverty and/or ALICE threshold. During the 2019 calendar year, CASA advocated for the well-being of 11 children with 7 trained volunteer advocates.

Boxerwood Education Association

The K-2 program is the second step in a multi-step, multi-year Boxerwood curriculum focused on helping children develop the habits of mind and heart to become young citizens who make a difference for our world in conjunction with area schools.  Outdoor learning supports these youth development goals.  The staff-led immersive experiences in nature also expand life experiences, activate the senses, enrich vocabulary, awaken imagination, and provide a real-world context for science concepts encountered in the classroom.  Effectiveness of the program is measured quantitatively and qualitatively with the three area district schools and teachers. 

Campus Kitchen

In 2019 Campus Kitchen partnered with RARA, the largest not-for-profit organization alleviating hunger and addressing poverty in the Rockbridge area, to re-imagine the Mobile Food Pantry and make deliveries more efficient.
  • Backpack Program - The Campus Kitchen Backpack Program provided weekly after school snacks to about 771 pre-K and elementary school students on the free or reduced lunch program in Rockbridge County. Backpacks contain 5-7 snack and meal items for each student and delivered to the schools in preparation for the weekend.
  • Mobile Food Pantry - To alleviate some issues regarding food access in our county, the Campus Kitchen Mobile Food Pantry program distributed to 100 households consisting of around 30 children, 75 adults and 90 elderly per month in Goshen, Buena Vista, Natural Bridge Station, Lexington House and Windemere Apartments.

Rockbridge Area YMCA

Funding by the UWR enabled the YMCA to hold an After-School Care program at Central, Enderly Heights, and Waddell Elementary Schools, enrichment at Fairfield Elementary School, Fun Fridays at Natural Bridge Elementary, and Summer Camp. The YMCA is now serving students at every elementary school in the Rockbridge Area. Approximately 180 students each week receive services from the YMCA. The YMCA also benefits from the UWR Book Drive and receives books for children.

Rockbridge Regional LibraryUWR helps fund two programs at the library.

  •  Pre-K Kits - RRL created and distributed “Get Ready for Kindergarten” kits to over 200 five-year-old children across the service area. The kits included activities designed for parents and children to help children develop the skills needed to succeed in school. RRL was able to distribute more kits by connecting with area preschools, who gave the kits to rising kindergartners at May graduations.
  • Youth Literacy - RRL has partnered with Rockbridge County and Lexington City schools since 1992 to provide a Youth Literacy program. School staff refer students to the program and match them with reading tutors/mentors who are trained through the Youth Literacy program. Volunteers commit to serving students for an academic year, helping them develop the functional reading skills that increase their chances of moving on to middle school, on to high school graduation, and on to better paying jobs that sustain households. This past year 64 reading tutors/mentors served 74 students. 

Yellow Brick Road Early Learning Center

UWR’s funds supported scholarships that YBR provides to families who are otherwise unable to afford such an exceptional early childhood education. YBR was able to provide child care for 82 families; 31 from Lexington and 51 from Rockbridge County during the 2018-2019 school year with scholarship assistance to 37 families in need. Due to the lack of special needs pre-school classrooms in the area, YBR has also been able to offer childcare for 3 children in foster care and 9 children with special needs.

Please consider giving a gift today because the children of Rockbridge need your support!