Williamson County Schools and United Way are working hand in hand to benefit students throughout the district.
Since 1998, WCS employees have invested over $839,000 with United Way of Williamson County. In 2014 alone, the district’s United Way Campaign raised $81,507, ranking WCS twelfth among the United Way’s top community partners for the year.
The following schools were the top United Way grade level per capita givers for Williamson County Schools in 2014: Bethesda Elementary, Woodland Middle and Centennial High. In addition, nine schools had 100 percent of their employees contribute to the campaign.
United Way funds a number of programs that benefit Williamson County students. One example would be the Backpack Program which is available to students who are eligible for free and reduced meals. The Backpack Program discreetly provides a large bag of food for the child to take home for the weekend for the entire family. Other programs include Full Tummies, Warm Hearts which provides baskets of food and other items to the needy each Thanksgiving and Raise Your Hand which pairs volunteer readers, tutors and mentors with students performing below the state standard.
In an effort to secure future funding for the Raise Your Hand program, WCS recently facilitated a connection between United Way and a group of graduate students at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.
The students, who are all taking a required course in program evaluation, were called upon to assess the Raise Your Hand initiative. They presented their findings to a group of WCS and United Way representatives April 27.
District leaders say it was a great opportunity for the district to help an agency that benefits our students.
“The hope is that the quantitative data resulting from the evaluation will help United Way secure funding for the Raise Your Hand program,” said WCS Community Relations and Development Coordinator Dr. Deb Enright. “At the same time, the assessment process gave the graduate students at Vanderbilt relevant practice as they finish up their degree.”