United Way provides solutions to help kids be more successful in school & life.

Greater Mankato Area United Way Supports Early Learning

Early learning is the beginning of a child's education. We all benefit when children succeed in school and are prepared to be self-sufficient. Because 90% of the brain is developed before age 3, it is critical to invest in a child's life early. Research shows that kids who don't enter school prepared are more likely to fall behind or drop out. Every dollar invested in early education returns $16 to the public, impacting our entire community. 

Greater Mankato Area United Way Funding:

Blue Earth County - First Steps Early Intervention

Connects pregnant women, or mothers of children under the age of three,  to what they need  to have healthy babies, promote child health and development and strengthen family self-sufficeny.

Blue Earth County - First Steps Home Visiting

Provides home visits for families from prenatal stages through 3 years of age. Families are connected with a home visitor that helps empower, connect, and support them in their new role as a parent while monitoring the healthy development of their children.

Greater Mankato Area United Way - Books for Kids

Provides free books and parenting resources to families who live or work in the greater Mankato area to promote literacy, instill the joy of reading in children and to increase the bond between caregiver or parent and child as they read together.

Lake Crystal Public Schools - ECFE Camp Mid-Knights Summer Enrichment

Provides a four week summer school education opportunity for 20 at risk students during the summer before their kindergarten year.  The goal is to develop the unique capabilities of every learner and to prepare them in a supportive, nurturing environment, so that they enter kindergarten with the necessary skills to succeed and flourish.

Mankato Area Public Schools Community Ed & Rec - ECFE 4 Kids Preschool

Provides disadvantaged children or children experiencing risk factors an application based pre-school designed for four year olds before they enter Kindergarten to help them gain school readiness.

Mankato Area Public Schools Community Ed & Rec - Lincoln Logs Learning Center

Provides quality pre-shool programming for the children of refugee and immigrant parents while the parents attend Adult Basic Education classes to acquire and improve the literacy skills necessary to be self-sufficient and to participate effectively as productive workers, family members, and citizens.

Mankato Area Public Schools Community Ed & Rec - Ready! for Kindergarten

Helps parents prepare their children for Kindergarten by giving them the information and tools they need to maximize their children's potential. 

St. Peter Public Schools - ECFE School Readiness Scholarships

Ensures that all students entering kindergarten have an opportunity to be prepared to successfully meet all kindergarten program objectives. 

Waseca Community Education & Family Education - Family Education Center

Helps prepare children in a developmentally appropriate manner for kindergarten.

YWCA - Ready to Learn

Provides immigrants and refugees a home-visiting program during which YWCA staff and volunteers work with parents to engage their children in developmental activities that help prepare them for kindergarten. Parents also learn the value of pre-k and k-12 education. An additional benefit of this program is that parents learn right along with their children.

Greater Mankato Area United Way Provides Quality Out-of-School Time Programs

Participation in afterschool programs reduces risky behavior among youth. Participation reduces initiating drug use among youth by nearly 46% while reducing the likelihood of them skipping school by half.

Greater Mankato Area United Way Funding:

Boy Scouts Twin Valley Council - Youth Programming

Provides a comprehensive youth development include character development program for boys.

Girl Souts of MN & WI River Valleys - ConnectZ

Aims to help girls from diverse and low income backgrounds have the opportunity to develop skills for a successful future. 

Greater Mankato Diversity Council - Promoting Respect Workshops

Provides diversity education to grades K-12 in area schools to reduce discrimination and promote respect for all in the Greater Mankato area.

Gustavus Adolphus College - Big Partner Little Partner

Allows youth, ages 6-12, to engage in a meaningful relationship with a college student who can serve as a role model through one-on-one conversations, monthly events, and various activities. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for Gustavus students to build friendships and develop mentoring relationships with youth in the Saint Peter community.

Lutheran Social Services - My Life My Choice

Prevents sexual exploitation of children by teaching at-risk girls how to recognize and avoid the recruitment tactics of pimps and find a path out of exploitation  if they are already involved.

Mankato Area Girls Fastpitch Association (MAGFA) - Scholarships

Provides scholarships so girls can participate in a youth softball program that develops physicality, leadership, teamwork, sportsmanship and discipline skills while building self-esteem.  

Mankato Area Youth Baseball Association (MAYBA) - Scholarships

Provides scholarships so boys can participate in a well organized summer youth baseball program that is important to the growth and development of emotional, social, and physical skills of children.

Mankato Area Public Schools Community Ed & Rec - Connecting Kids

Educates parents and guardians of the opportunities in our community to get kids involved, and provides financial resources to the households that need them so that their children can get involved in youth development programs.

Project 4 Teens - Peer Education

Trains 40 students from area high schools to become peer leaders who then promote healthy and responsible decision making and teach healthy communication skills with 6th and 8th grade students in area schools.

Project GEM - Art / Music Youth Program

Serves low income / special needs youth ages 5 to 18 years old with art, creative writing, music, theater / drama, or photography classes.

Waseca Community Education & Recreation - Kids in Action

Provides structured learning, caring, and social environment for students ages 4-6 to partake in during the summer months.

Waseca Community Education & Recreation - Waseca School Age Care

Provides high quality child care for children (age 33 months through 6th grade). 

YMCA - Brother / Sister Program

Matches area youth (aged 6-14) with adult volunteer mentors from the community who commit to a relationship of at least 2-3 hours a week for 9 months.

YMCA - Chesley Roller Sports Park

Provides a safe, family friendly, structured environment for youth to engage in alternative sports and physical activity. It is a structured environment for skateboarding, in-line skating and BMX biking.

YMCA - School Based Mentoring

Pairs Mankato area public school students with adult mentors for lunch or other school activities once a week.


Increases health and fitness among 3-8th grade boys while developing their character.

YWCA - Girls on the Run

A transformational physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-6th grade that teaches life skills through dynamic interactive lessons and running games.