Mahoning Valley

Our Work


United Way will provide families with opportunities to ensure their children are receiving early development care in order to ready them for academic success.

Success By 6

As part of a broader, more comprehensive program to address the needs of children in our community, United Way of Youngstown and Mahoning Valley will provide resources for a four-week summer program for pre-Kindergarten children with a focus on school readiness. This program will address literacy skills, but also help the child adapt to the new environment.

During the summer of 2022, we prepared more than 650 students to enter Kindergarten in 18 school districts across the Mahoning Valley. The students all experienced an average 10-point gain in their early literacy assessments.


Kindergarten Readiness Bags

These bags will provide learning support for incoming kindergarteners in the months before school begins so that children can start school ready to learn. They will include our Ready, Set, Grow! Calendar that provides educational tips and activities for children leading up to kindergarten, An Apple A Day Responsibility Tracker that provides a calendar of age-appropriate tasks to be performed by the child, and educational manipulatives that the children can utilize to prepare for the classroom. Many of these materials are not easily accessible to the population we are targeting, low to moderate-income level children living in Youngstown.

Over the summer of 2022, we distributed 100 Kindergarten Readiness Bags to children throughout the Youngstown Area.

Click here to see our Ready, Set, Grow! Calander for 22/23.

Imagination Library

Our goal is to increase the number of Youngstown City children receiving books by 25%. Children who live in homes with books and are read too early will be more likely to read on schedule and reach their grade level reading levels on time. However, children living in poverty do not have easy access to books. Imagination Library helps change that by delivering a free, high-quality, age-appropriate book to the child’s home from birth to age 5. Under this initiative, we work closely with partner agencies that work with this demographic to register the children as early as birth.

In the spring of 2022, we participated in Read Across America thanks to our sponsor, #1 Cochran Chevrolet Buick GMC. We hosted an Imagine with Us event at Struthers Elementary School and welcomed guest readers into our Success After 6 schools.

Currently, 6,900 children are enrolled in Imagination Library in Mahoning County!

Click here to learn more about Imagination Library and register your child.



During the COVID-19 pandemic, we faced many challenges in reaching our children to best prepare them for school. We got creative and worked closely with our school districts to provide unique and innovative ways to help the children.

Title sponsor:

PNC Foundation

Other sponsors:

The Youngstown Foundation

Nordson Foundation


  • "The greatest benefits of the Success By 6 program is that it gives students an opportunity to experience kindergarten before the school year actually starts. This 'jump start' helps students to work on their social skills and learn classroom routines. My favorite part of the program is watching the growth that happens in just a few short weeks."

    Mrs. Betsy A. Walsh, Kindergarten Teacher, Sebring Local Schools

  • "I think it's a perfect intro into kindergarten. I was really happy that he was in the school he'll be attending in the fall. I saw him grow a lot, especially his confidence when he was in Success By 6."

    Parent of Success By 6 Student at South Range Elementary School

  • "Success By 6 got her motivated to like school. She struggled at first. She didn't want to learn, but this got her into the routine and she started to get excited about school. It's an excellent program."

    Parent of Success By 6 student Struthers Elementary School

  • PNC