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2015-2016 Community Impact

ReadingPals Initiative

Served 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders at Terwilliger Elementarty, Norton Elementary, Foster Elementary, Idylwild Elementary, Caring & Sharing Learning School, Northwest Boys and Girls Club and Woodland Park Boys and Girls Club.

  • 175 volunteers, 166 students Participants

  • 2967 reading hours

  • Over 2,000 books taken home

  • 26% of students received less than < 12 hours

  • 15% of students received between 12-18 hours

  • 18% of students received between 19-24 hours

  • 40% of students received over 25 hours of reading time

  • 9 Site locations

Book Nook Project

The bookshelves are stocked with gently-used books that are free for families to take.

  • 29 active Book Nooks placed throughout the community

  • Special recognition to Barbara Ross, the Gainesville Women's Club and Publix for being major contributors to this program.

  • Collected 16,523 books for distribution to the community

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

  • More than 200 volunteers participated

  • Refunded $2,574,869 to the community and saved taxpayers $565,735 in paid fees for a total impact of $3,140,604

  • The average refund was $1,719 and average EITC was $1,507 (saving an average tax fee for preparations of $260).

Seal & Smile

Tooth decay impacts overall health and for children, impedes their ability to learn. This year 161 children were given free dental sealants, fluoride varnish, oral health exams and referrals for dental care on Super Sealant Saturday. Some students received up to 9 sealants. This school-based initiative is sponsored by Oral Health America in partnership with the University of Florida College of Dentistry and Santa Fe School of Dental Hygiene.

More than just 2nd and 6th grade students in Alachua County benefit from this program. Seal & Smile also helps prepare University of Florida dental students and Santa Fe College dental hygiene students for the future through volunteering their time and services.

Check & Connect Initiative

After four years, and witnessing the original cohort of students graduate, the Check & Connect program came to a close. Check & Connect aimed to reduce drop-out rates and help local high school students make progress towards graduation by building relationships with students and their families. In addition to one-on-one mentoring, many students who participated in the program were gifted a laptop as part of the effort to reduce barriers to  success. While the program has come to a close, its impact will carry on for generations. At the end of the school year, we had a chance to celebrate the program, the most recent graduates and Check & Connect Specialists Barbara Brady, Stephanie Burke and Annetta McCloud. In total the Check & Connect program:

  • Gifted 134 laptops

  • Generated 6,500 hours of one-on-one mentoring hours over four years.

2-1-1

2-1-1 is a free service provided by United Way of North Central Florida connecting the community to critical health and social service resources. For the fiscal year 2015, 12,226 local residents called 2-1-1.

  • ALACHUA 10,932

  • BRADFORD 281

  • DIXIE 266

  • GILCHRIST 193

  • LEVY 884

  • UNION 115

  • OTHER COUNTIES 737

  • PEOPLE CALLED FOR HELP 13,408

Top five reasons local residents called 2-1-1:

  • 25% Housing assistance

  • 18% Utility assistance

  • 13% Tax prep assistance

  • 10% Food assistance

  • 7% Healthcare assistance

FamilyWize

A discount prescription drug program offered free of charge to everyone, regardless of income level or insurance coverage.

  • FamilyWize was used 18,408 times in fiscal year 2015

  • $461,687 in local savings