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United Way briefs: Grant restructuring, drinks for books
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United Way reorganizes (March 13, 2011)

United Way is restructuring their grant making process, opening up the Community Impact Fund to any organization that has previously received grants from the United Way.
For 2011-12, grant applications will only be accepted from current grantees who do work in the focus areas of education, income, health and homelessness. Grants will be awarded after a competitive review, independent of what the organizations have received historically.

Volunteers will assess applicants on past performance and ability to measurably impact United Way’s focus areas, with the chance to receive multi-year funding. Assistance will also be provided for programs that have potential to be more competitive next year.

Programs that address food and emergency shelter will be in a new category – basic needs – which will be reviewed by an investment volunteer committee at the county level.

In addition to the annual Impact Fund process, there will be other funds available for innovation, initiatives and when service gaps are identified.

According to a released statement, the unrestricted funding pool has grown smaller and during the past decade, donors’ demands and giving patterns have changed. The number of unrestricted gifts to the Community Impact Fund from donors have decreased, while gifts directed to specific partners have increased.

In 2009, the organization adopted a new strategic plan based on six community goals:

- Babies are born healthy
- Children enter school ready to learn and graduate prepared for careers
- Young people avoid risky behaviors
- Families are self-sufficient
- People have access to primary health care
- Homeless people are housed within one year 

The United Way recently shifted to a regional, collaborative focus, carving out three mini regions from the 13 counties in the metro Atlanta United Way – northeast, northwest, and the southern crescent, which includes Rockdale County.  has seen success when we are able to invest in the strongest programs and have the flexibility to respond to our community’s needs.


Roly Poly Offers Free Drinks to Support Literacy

April is Month of the Young Child, and Roly Poly in Conyers is demonstrating its commitment to early literacy through a partnership with Rockdale PACE, or Partners Advancing Childhood Education.

Each Tuesday in April the restaurant will offer a complimentary drink to patrons who bring in a new or gently-used children’s book to benefit PACE-affiliated child development centers in Rockdale.

“We are encouraged by local businesses like Roly Poly that understand the importance of early education and ensuring our children are on the right track for succeeding once they go to school,” said Kysa Daniels, United Way project manager. “Month of the Young Child gives us yet another opportunity to promote the various initiatives targeting
early learners and their families throughout Rockdale County.”

Rockdale’s Month of the Young Child activities are part of a month-long national event to highlight the needs of young children by celebrating community partnerships, promoting healthy children and families, recognizing early childhood professionals and advocating on behalf of children and families.

The Rockdale County PACE initiative represents a collaboration between United Way Smart Start, Rockdale County Public Schools and private child care and development providers to ensure school readiness for children. Programs designed to reach this goal include Parents as Teachers, the Early Learning Center at Rockdale Career Academy and Kindergarten Transition Camps.

Book donations for the Roly Poly Literacy Drive/Drink Giveaway can be made every Tuesday in April during restaurant business hours at 1745 Highway 138. Each donating patron is entitled to one free drink. Books should target children ages 5 and younger. For more information, contact United Way at or 678-623-2856.