Education

Goal:  Children Arrive at Kindergarten Ready to Learn

We know that children arriving at kindergarten ready to learn have a greater chance of succeeding in school. And that helps put them on the road to financial stability and independence for the future. In 2009, 34.5% of children in Berkshire County under the age of five were living in poverty – which is more than twice as much as the state as a whole. In April 2009 there were 800 children waiting for a subsidized care slot for early childhood education.

How does Berkshire United Way help?

Strengthening the early childhood education system.

Building parenting skills.

Improving access to domestic and sexual violence services for children and families.


Click here for a complete list of funded partners and programs working to help Children Arrive at Kindergarten Ready to Learn


Goal:  Young Adults Successfully Transition to Work, Higher Education or Training

Workers with higher levels of education not only earn higher incomes overall, but are also less likely to face unemployment during economic downturns. That’s just one reason why helping students stay in school and achieve their potential is so important. Among Berkshire County students, at-risk activities – alcohol, drugs, smoking and gambling – increase with age.  

How does Berkshire United Way help?

  1. Supporting structured activities for teens and young adults.
  2. Reducing risky behaviors among middle and high school students.
  3. Exposing students to internships and the college experience.


Click here for a complete list of funded partners and programs working to help Young Adults Successfully Transition to Work, Higher Education or Training

Case study: 2009-2010 lenox high school youth employment program BUW funded partner: berkshire county regional employment board

The 2009-10 Lenox High School Youth Employment Program worked with a male Pittsfield High School student referred to the program by the Special Education Department. Prior to joining the program, he was reserved and shy and hadn’t considered getting a job or opening a bank account. His father explains that after his experience doing custodial work as a participant in the program, his son is more confident, often initiates conversations with people, and is more outgoing in his daily activities. Grateful for the program, the father believes his son has learned essential life and career-specific skills for future employment. His son has set up a savings account that he will not let get below $1000 and has a tremendous sense of independence and confidence in securing future employment opportunities. The father credits all of these accomplishments to his son’s participation in the Lenox High School Employment Program.