Living United to Improve Education in Columbia County
Living United to Improve Education in Columbia County


Every day, people in Columbia County struggle with education problems that may seem impossible to solve.  

Children starting school without the skills necessary to succeed. Kids who can barely read by third grade, and who are far more likely to quit school later. Youth who don’t go on to college or vocational training. These are tough problems that threaten the future of individuals and communities.   

And it’s just gotten worse during the pandemic, with parents and educators worried about kids who’ve lost ground with virtual learning – especially children of color from low-wage families who may not have access to computers or the Internet. A recent study by United Way’s partner, McKinsey & Co., estimates that the shift to remote schooling in the U.S. has set students of color back by three to five months, compared to a lag of one to three months for white students. The academic losses are accumulating this school year, experts say.  

That’s why United Way is working to improve education for everyone, in every community we serve. Across a global network of nearly 1,200 United Ways, we’re engaging employees as reading volunteers. We’re mobilizing communities to reach out to teenagers on the verge of dropping out. We’re providing books, teaching support, and training to under-resourced schools.    

United Way of Columbia County currently provides monthly books to 1,350 youth through the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Program!

United Way does more than raise money.  We are the problem-solvers, the hand-raisers. We are the game-changers. We surround a community’s most critical problems—and we fight. With our partners—including 45,000+ companies across the globe—we’re offering hope and help where it’s needed the most.  We are building stronger communities, but there’s still so much more to do. Around the world and in our own backyard, we’re fighting to build better schools to support a better tomorrow. Find out how to get involved at