kids with legos

United Way works every day to advance the common good by focusing on the building blocks for a better life – Education, Income, and Health.


The quality of an individual’s education has a profound and lasting effect on the person’s ability to succeed in the world. Every parent’s dream is for our children to succeed-and for their success to surpass ours. United Way of Mat-Su has put a stake in the ground on education. We want to boost every child’s chance for success in school, work and life. The impact that United Way of Mat-Su and its partners have on education can ripple through our community, improving health and financial stability. These building blocks of a good life are critical to lasting community change.

Our Community Plan:

Children and Youth Achieve Their Potential

Our Goal:

Ensure that every child has the chance to succeed

Our Strategy:

We invest in, and partner with, programs and organizations that target our focus areas (school readiness, career and life skills preparedness, and academic completion) by:

  • increasing access to high-quality early childhood education
  • helping children be promoted at the end of their school year
  • helping families and students be supported, engaged and connected to schools
  • engaging youth in the development of competencies, assets, positive attributes and resiliency
  • engaging parents in supporting their child’s educational progress
  • fostering exposure to year-round learning opportunities
  • supporting positive youth activities and social development in the community
  • helping prepare youth with career and life skills

How You Can Help:

As a part of the Mat-Su Valley, you can get involved in some of the programs that help children get prepared and then later succeed at school such as:

Early Childhood Partnership of Mat-Su:

The Early Childhood Partnership of Mat-Su is a Best Beginnings group focused on serving young children and their families. The partnership has been in existence since 2009 and developed a community-wide strategic plan to mobilize people and resources to ensure all children in the Mat-Su begin school ready to succeed.

Spark: Spark logo

Download a Spark flyer (.PDF)


To help Mat-Su students build strong ties to school and
develop skills that prepare them for the future.


All students are engaged in their learning and
have tools to be successful in school and life.

The goal of Spark is to:

Reinforce learning objectives from the classroom to increase comprehension and further academic progress;
Build confidence and foster an interest in learning;
Provide positive, encouraging role models to MSBSD students.

We seek to do this by:

Finding a volunteer tutor/academic mentor that can meet student needs;
Connecting student/s with a volunteer to work one-on-one or in a small group;
Scheduling 1-2 hours each week for groups or pairs to meet;
Keeping in contact with teacher, student, and volunteer to provide support as needed.

Graduation Rates

How We Want To Move Forward:

We want to see organization and companies get involved with education and the students that will be graduating from the schools here in the valley, and showing them how important it is to succeed by providing them with apprenticeships or internships that will teach them good work ethics and prepare them for their future.

More Information/Resource on Education:

ECP Assessment Report (.PDF)

ECP Plan Poster (.PDF)

Best Beginnings Report to Alaska 2008 (.PDF)- Imagination Library: Beginning with “The Little Engine That Could,” children receive an age-appropriate hard-cover book FREE each month from birth to age five. “Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come” is the final book each child receives as they prepare to enter kindergarten.

Thread - Connecting early care and education to Alaska helps to provide a resource and referral network for parents or caregivers.
State of Alaska Early Learning Guidelines 2007
Alaska Ready to Read, Ready to Learn 2006
Kids Count Alaska - Kindergarten Assessments and Reading Proficiencies—Mat-Su Borough School District
Kindergarten Readiness (.PDF)