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United Way of Southwest Virginia fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Southwest Virginia because they are the building blocks for a good quality of life.

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United Way of Southwest Virginia named lead organization for Ready Region Southwest

January 10, 2022

The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) announced Jan. 6 the launch of Ready Regions, a nine-region network designed to increase coordination and accountability in early education programs across the Commonwealth.

United Way of Southwest Virginia (UWSWVA) will be the lead organization for Ready Region Southwest. UWSWVA will coordinate the services and resources available to families with young children in the region, partnering with parents, early childhood care and education programs, businesses, school systems, social services agencies and other stakeholder organizations.

While Ready Regions is a new way of approaching early childhood care and education across the Commonwealth, Ready Region Southwest will benefit from productive, pre-existing relationships between UWSWVA and its partners.

“United Way of Southwest Virginia has been working with all of these stakeholders for several years on a regional basis,” said Travis Staton, UWSWVA president and CEO. “Throughout the process of the transition to Ready Regions, UWSWVA has continuously worked with these partners, including parents, through bi-monthly coalition meetings and updates. With six coalitions that represent different specific parts of the region, and more than 1,800 people on the mailing list for coalition updates, our team has included many sectors and individuals in the planning process.”

Ready Regions dovetails with the Ready SWVA initiative announced by UWSWVA Dec. 8, designed to expand access to high-quality, affordable childcare; strengthen the current early childhood network in the region; and grow the professional early childhood workforce.

“Early childhood care and education is key to the future of Southwest Virginia,” Staton said. “The ready availability of early childhood care and education is necessary to allow families to fully re-enter the workforce post-COVID. Those families will know their school-ready children will be capable of hitting the ground running when they enter the K-12 system. And that, in turn, will make those students more likely to be work- or college-ready when the time comes.

“With renewed interest in education and engagement, workforce development, equitable access, parent choice, and the health and well-being of all those involved in the early childcare system, United Way of Southwest Virginia and our partners are ready for the challenge.”

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For more information on Ready Regions, including a map of the nine regions, visit vecf.org/ready-regions. For more information on United Way of Southwest Virginia, visit unitedwayswva.org. For interviews with Travis Staton, call 276.492.3234 or email srobertson@unitedwayswva.org.

ABOUT UNITED WAY OF SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA

United Way of Southwest Virginia fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Southwest Virginia because they are the building blocks for a good quality of life. Through an initiative-based cradle-to-career approach, United Way of Southwest Virginia is creating sustainable solutions to address the challenges facing tomorrow’s workforce. United Way convenes cross-sector partners to make an impact on the most complex problems in our region. Through collaboration with government, business, nonprofit and individuals, United Way innovates for positive, lasting social change. With a footprint that covers nearly 20% of the state of Virginia, United Way of Southwest Virginia programs and initiatives serve the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Montgomery, Pulaski, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise, and Wythe, and the cities of Bristol, Galax, Norton, and Radford.

See attached VECF release below:

Download ready-regions-press-releasefinal.doc.pdf

Top 10 in the United States by Charity Navigator in 2018 Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency Charity Navigator Four Star Charity United Way 2020 Membership Requirements Completed

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