United Way is focused on helping San Diego youth through third grade. Photo courtesy United Way
United Way is focused on helping San Diego youth through third grade. Photo courtesy United Way

United Way of San Diego County is seeking to give away $2 million to groups working to help the youngest San Diegans from birth through third grade.

Through its “Collective Impact” framework the organization hopes to seed, build and expand networks of nonprofits, health providers, schools, government, businesses and other community-based organizations that are working on two goals: getting children ready for kindergarten and helping them to read at grade-level in the primary grades.

“Instead of individual partners separately trying to help children in San Diego, we are seeking groups of partners who agree on a collective goal and pool their talents and resources to improve the lives of kids and their families, and then track the collective progress,” said United Way President and CEO Kevin Crawford.

United Way said efforts funded may include strategies that increase positive parenting, quality preschool education, social-emotional health, family stability and wellness. A plan to continue efforts beyond the initial funding period is a critical requirement, the nonprofit said.

Funding for the grants was made possible from the support of companies around the San Diego region, including AT&T, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, GEICO, NASSCO, Solar Turbines, UPS and many others.

United Way said initial applications are due Mar. 11 and organizations can apply online.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.