Way to Grow

The Importance of Early Education

Way to Grow has been operating for almost 30 years on the premise that by reaching our society’s most isolated children and families early, we will help close the achievement gap and create a better future for our community, workforce and economy. In fact, the proven correlation between early education and future benefits for society give it an extremely strong return on investment.

At its core, early education:

  • Helps break the cycle of poverty
  • Creates stronger schools and improves the future vitality of communities
  • Builds a stronger workforce and economy

listeningBreaking the Cycle of Poverty

By reaching underserved children early, from prenatal through the critical third grade milestone, we can change the trajectory of their future financial health and independence. Studies show a strong correlation between a child’s third grade literacy scores and the chances he/she will succeed in graduating from high school and going on to college (reference: Early Warning! Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters: A KIDS COUNT Special Report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation).

Benefitting Schools and the Community

Through our proven model and strategic partnerships with other community resources, we help our society’s most isolated families find self-sufficiency and establish a more secure position within the community. As they overcome these obstacles, we help them create an atmosphere of learning for their children and encourage more involvement with the schools, creating stronger school systems.

By the third grade milestone, a child’s test scores strongly indicate if they’re on the path toward finding success in life. By reaching more children and helping them meet this important milestone, we’re able to increase the future strength of the community as these children become contributing members of society and decrease their chances of turning to crime or relying on government support.

Building a Stronger Workforce

As the children we serve go on to graduate from high school and college, we’re creating a stronger, more educated workforce within the community. This builds the local economy with adults who have financial security and an educated workforce that makes ours an attractive community for businesses.

Our 2017 Outcomes:

Service Statistics

  • 2,422 parents and children served
  • 11,665 home visits
  • 2,353 family referrals to agencies

Early Childhood Education

  • 1,105 early learners
  • 87% of children met literacy benchmarks / prepared for school

Elementary Education

  • 321 children (K–3) served at 33 Minneapolis Public Schools, 17 charter schools, and 8 private schools
  • 91% of parents attended at least one parent-teacher conference
  • 86% of parents read to their children at least 3 times per week
  • 63% of elementary children read at or above grade level

Teen Parenting

  • 55 parenting teens served (ages 15-21)
  • 100% of parenting teens did not have a repeat pregnancy

Health Education*

  • 146 expectant parents served
  • 87% of children entering kindergarten were up-to-date on immunizations
  • 94% of full-term newborns born at a healthy birth weight

Annual Reports

Each year, we’re working to expand our reach and help more children within our community. Our annual reports demonstrate the progress we’ve made over the years.

WTG 2016 Annual Report Cover


WTG 2015 Annual Report Cover