Education Equity

We believe in an equitable opportunity where all children will have access to high-quality education programs and services so that children enter kindergarten ready to learn, are proficient in core academic subjects, and graduate college and career ready.

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Happy National Lollipop Day!

National Lollipop Day is July 20. 

Lollipops are not only a great treat to enjoy, they can also be a source for learning. 

Parents and caregivers can engage with kids by asking about different shapes, sizes, colors, textures, patterns and more. 

Kids can explore their creativity by decorating lollipops. They can also practice fine motor skills by decorating. 

Kids can learn about sharing and making and giving special lollipops to family, friends, and neighbors. 

Under both HOPE VI and CNI federal funding programs, USI has been the lead partner selected to work directly with residents to help them become stable and thriving—serving as the PEOPLE Lead. Via HOPE VI, this was done by focusing on school improvements. Under CNI, this has been done by providing family support, coaching, and service coordination to support positive health, safety, employment, mobility, and education outcomes for residents in the target distressed development(s) and the surrounding neighborhood.

Through this work, USI’s focus on education has always been a big component of our work to accelerate families out of poverty. To this end, we work with youth and adults providing “two-generation” support to parents and their children.

For the children, we intentionally connect them with strong education options while providing ongoing holistic family support and accountability agreements. As an intermediary, we help schools tackle the academic achievement gap, by helping our children to not only become stronger in academics but also become socially and emotionally solid as well.

Our work secures the following primary result areas:

  • Kindergarten Readiness

  • Children Proficient in Reading and Math

  • College and Career Readiness

USI believes that improving schools is central to our “Cradle to Career” pipeline with every reemerging community to establish and maintain mixed-income communities and to support social, economic, and racial integration. In partnership with schools and school districts around the country, we have led on improvements in physical infrastructure, governance, curriculum, technology, and community engagement in neighborhood schools and support academic achievement as a tool for ensuring positive economic mobility.

Our Education Impact

Early learning data

Core Academics Proficiency data

College and Career readiness data

Understand how we’ve impacted education in the neighborhoods we serve since we were first introduced by checking out our dashboard.

COVID-19 Virtual Learning

During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, our national Education Specialist team is connecting daily to develop e-learning vignettes for students to stay engaged and active while learning from home. Visit often to see different videos that you can add to your homeschool schedule, and follow our YouTube page for more:

Read for the Record

When USI San Antonio’s Education Specialist, Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Arevalo decided to bring the Read for the Record tradition to families in East Meadows in 2018, it was an instant success.

Read for the Record is a national initiative created by the organization, Jumpstart, to increase early literacy and make books more widely available to children across the United States.

As 2020 began to spiral with COVID-19 restrictions, the team searched for opportunities to continue community
engagement safely. And when Jumpstart announced the next book, Liz worked diligently with her USI teammates to make it happen for 2020.

With the help of partners like the University of Texas San Antonio who funded purchasing books, the books, and online login materials were hand-delivered to the community’s scholars days before the event. On the day of, children logged in, listened, and read along with the book and made friendship bracelets virtually together.

The Read for the Record tradition is so popular in the USI San Antonio community, that other USI communities around the nation were inspired to join in for the 2021 reading of Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon by Kat Zhang.

Ms McKnight holding the 2020 Read for the Record book