Parker was a serious basketball fan. At just 8 years old, he saw
the Sacramento Kings in the newspaper and started looking up
their scores after the games. Soon he had the basketball bug and
wanted to learn to play.
Parker joined YMCA Superior California’s after-school program,
which is funded by United Way’s Fit Kids project, and learned a
hard lesson: It’s hard to get the ball in the basket.
Fortunately, a staff member encouraged him to keep practicing.
“She told me it’s important to have good sportsmanship because
it’s fun and good for you,” Parker said.
Marina learned the hard way that the old saying is true:
Sometimes you can’t go home. Marina’s childhood was marked by
addiction – her parents’ addiction and her own. Fortunately, her
probation officer saw her perseverance and determination and sent
her to Koinonia Homes for Teens.
As a foster youth at Koinonia, Marina turned her life around, due
in part to Koinonia’s participation in United Way’s $en$e-Ability
project that helps foster youth become financially literate and
build savings accounts for when they move out on their own.
Ryleigh loves finding a book and seeing what it’s all about. When
asked what this second grader’s favorite book is, she rattles off
“I like reading because you get to go on new adventures and
sometimes they’re animals and sometimes they’re real stories that
actually happened,” Ryleigh said.
The summer before she started first grade, Ryleigh started
attending the Boys & Girls Club of Placer County’s reading
program funded through United Way’s STAR Readers project. She was
reading proficiently, but her mom wanted to make sure she stayed
on track during the long summer months. She worked on letter
naming fluency, sight words, sounding out unfamiliar words, using
Leap Pads to increase her reading competency and reading
one-on-one with volunteers.
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