It Takes a Village

What is "It Takes A Village"

Youth need support during their early-grade years to ensure success in high school and beyond. Through this early-grade reading program, United Way "It Takes a Village" matches volunteer reading mentors with kindergarten students and prepares students to read proficiently by 4th grade. Volunteers tutor up to three students each week during the school day and are encouraged to remain with their students through 3rd grade.

Program Reach:

  • Volunteer reading mentors are matched with the lowest reading students as indicated by kindergarten baseline data
  • Reading mentors may tutor up to three students weekly for 30 minutes each during the school day in the classroom or other designated areas within the school
  • Each year new volunteers are recruited, trained, and matched with incoming kindergarten students

    In 2017/2018 school year:

  • 110 opportunities to pair the mentors and students 
  • 18 volunteers mentors met with students 
  • 25 students benefited from the program 
  • 240.38 hours registered mentoring students with a financial impact of $5,922.52
  • 60% of the students in the program are meeting projected growth

In Year Two:

2018/2019 School Year It Takes A Village Locations

  • Taylor Park Elementary
  • Lincoln Douglas Elementary
  • Blackhawk Elementary
  • Lena Winslow Elementary 


To volunteer to be an It Takes a Village Reading Mentor, click here and start your registration. Individuals are required to complete a background check and register for volunteer opportunites before mentoring can start through the It Takes a Village program.

United Way is also looking for a volunteer to help us coordinate volunteer mentoring in Stephenson County. Please email Connie at or call 815-232-5184 if you are interested. 


Program Funded in Part by: