Wilmington, DE (June 28, 2018) — United Way of Delaware (UWDE) today announced that Wells Fargo Bank has become a founding sponsor of Moving The Needle, a collaboration between United Way and Wilmington’s public schools aimed at ensuring that Wilmington kindergartners will be reading at grade-level when they enter fourth grade in 2023. Wells Fargo representatives Ashley Cook and G. Stephen Williams recently presented UWDE President and Chief Executive Officer Michelle Taylor a $25,000 check in support of the program.
Research suggests that children who are not reading on grade-level when they enter fourth grade often struggle with academics and are more likely than their peers to drop out of school before graduation. About half of Delaware’s public school children do not read on grade level when they enter fourth grade; in some parts of Wilmington, fewer than 2-in-10 children are reading proficiently by fourth grade.
Moving The Needle is a laser-focused strategy that provides kindergartners and their families with a wraparound package of support services designed to help students become grade-level readers by the end of third grade. The program includes year-round academic and social supports for children, training and engagement materials and home support visits for parents, evidence-based literacy training materials from the Nemours BrightStart program, and tuition support for children to attend summer reading enrichment camps. The program begins with 125 kindergartners in three schools this September, and expands each year over the following three years, ultimately engaging eight schools and 500 children by its fourth year.
“Moving The Needle is an aggressive, focused strategy that will engage a large group of children and their parents for five years with a comprehensive package of services. We expect this focused effort will move the needle and put these children on the road to academic success,” said Ms. Taylor. “Wells Fargo shares United Way’s belief that no single investment will generate a better return for our community than helping ensure that all of our children are skillful readers at an early age. We are delighted to be partnering with Wells Fargo to address this critical issue as we prepare to launch Moving The Needle later this year,” she added.
“At Wells Fargo, we understand the importance of a child’s ability to read at grade-level by the time they enter the fourth grade,” said Stephen Briggs, Senior Community Relations Consultant for Wells Fargo. “We have been supporting this critical work for the past three years in the City of Philadelphia and have seen a notable impact on literacy rates among children. We are excited to partner with the United Way and help move the needle here in the State of Delaware.”
About United Way of Delaware
United Way of Delaware’s (UWDE) mission is to improve the quality of life for all Delawareans. To do this, UWDE focuses its work in three strategic areas: ensuring that children from birth-8 are prepared for school and reading on grade level; ensuring that young people are prepared for success in college and/or a career, and promoting financial stability and empowerment for individuals and families. UWDE works with its corporate, individual, and community-based partners to mobilize resources, engage volunteers, and to advocate for positive social change. For more information or to become engaged with UWDE, visit www.uwde.org or call (302) 573-3700.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through 8,200 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2017 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.