Changing outcomes, changing lives

Date: April 22, 2016

Dr. George Arlotto was the featured speaker at United Way’s “Their Own Words” breakfast in Anne Arundel County this week. He expressed his sincere gratitude to United Way of Central Maryland for working to create stable families and communities where students can achieve social and academic success.

United Way’s Family Stability Program serves an important role in Anne Arundel County Public Schools, said Arlotto. Focusing on helping low-income families achieve self-sufficiency is the key to long-term academic success. When a family has a stable place to live, children remain in their local schools and can focus on being good students, instead of suffering from the stress of worrying about whether or not their family might be evicted or have their power turned off.

Arlotto also discussed student success as it relates to the “whole student.” Standardized testing and other matrices are not the only measures for achievement. Some successes, like the ones found when students make the “right choice” or think of others before themselves, can be better measures of teacher and student achievement and growth. Together as a community, we can change outcomes and ultimately change lives when we put our children first.

He shared that even though Anne Arundel County is one of the wealthiest counties in one of the wealthiest states, 33 percent of the county’s students receive free meals. He emphasized that the percentage only captures those who have filled out the paperwork for free meals. “We will never change the education success of children until we change the lives of children,” Arlotto said. To start changing the lives of his students, Arlotto expressed the need to continue strong partnerships with the nonprofit community along with government agencies, school staff, parents and students. He knows these efforts will help continue making #AACPSAwesome.

Brian Goff, Anne Arundel County Partnership Board Vice-Chair and President of Insurance Solutions, presented Dr. Arlotto with United Way of Central Maryland’s Live United Award. Goff encouraged guests to support families facing homelessness in Anne Arundel County by making a financial contribution to United Way’s housing and income work.

Pam Brown, Executive Director for the Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families, discussed her organization’s partnership with United Way to support local families recently displaced from a dilapidated motel in the Meade/Severn area. Brown manages United Way’s Family Stability program in Anne Arundel County, which has re-housed over eighty families with school-aged children who have found themselves homeless or at-risk of losing their home.

Tonya Hill, Anne Arundel County Partnership Board Chair and Sr. Vice President/Regional Corporate Banker at BB&T, highlighted United Way’s work both as a community convener and collaborator. Hill also described United Way as an important funding agent for local nonprofits through community operating and response grants and donor designated funds. Under Hill’s leadership, United Way’s Anne Arundel County Family Stability program was launched in 2014.

Mark Furst, President & CEO of United Way of Central Maryland, shared how United Way’s work has expanded into Anne Arundel County through engagement efforts like Walk A Mile, Volunteer Days of Action and 2-1-1 Maryland. “We all win when students succeed in school, families are financially stable and people are healthy,” said Furst.

This event was made possible thanks to the generosity of DLA Piper, BB&T, Insurance Solutions, and Anne Arundel Medical Center. Thanks also to the Naval Academy Athletic Association for hosting the event. To support families facing homelessness in Anne Arundel County, please visit bit.ly/1UZ46GG.

1 COMMENT

  1. A wonderful, informative, and much needed event. Residents need to see the impact and many hats the teachers, staffs, and admin. are doing in our schools. Also it is great to see sponsors step up and play a very important role. Unfortunately poverty is here and hopefully not to stay. It has become a big business and there are those making profits off of the misfortunes of others.

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