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Positive childhood development is central to our community’s ability to succeed in the future. We want to help ensure that every child in West Tennessee is given the opportunities to grow holistically. Our organization has identified four benchmarks for childhood success: Kindergarten Readiness, Third-Grade Math and Reading Proficiency, Middle School Leadership Development, and High School Graduation. Therefore, we have officially merged our current education initiatives to establish the Office of Childhood Success.


  • Bright Start West TN aims to make a continuum of quality early care and education the norm for all West Tennessee children at birth through third grade. In partnership with Tennesseans for Quality Educations (TQEE), we strive to accelerate early learning outcomes and close achievement and opportunity gaps for this demographic.

  • Handle With Care, a partnership with TBI and local law enforcement, is trauma-informed approach to providing heads-up notifications to school administrators of traumatic events experienced by students during outside of class.

  • MentorU

    Mentor U is a partnership of the five higher ed institutions in Jackson that works to provide mentorship and college exposure to local middle school students.

  • The READ Team recruits volunteers through local churches and the community-at-large to provide literacy assistance to 2nd graders with the aim of helping them attain grade-level reading skills by third grade.

  • The West TN Afterschool Network helps ensure children and families have safe and nurturing afterschool experiences through advocacy and community resources.

  • As part of The READ Team, the WOW Wagon is a mobile library that provides free books for children in local neighborhoods and schools. The books are donated by the community and are available to those in Pre-K through high school.

Our Impact This Year

  • Agency Partners


  • Programs Funded


  • 2021-2022 Dollars Raised


  • People Helped


© 2023 United Way of West Tennessee

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