United Way of Lane County

Logo for United Way of Lane County

The United Way of Lane County (UWLC) will implement the evidence-based Kids in Transition to School (KITS) program to improve the early literacy and social and self-regulation skills of Lane County children entering kindergarten. 

Grantee Information
Federal Awards: 
$2 million over two years (2015-2016)
Focus Area: 
Youth Development
Geographic Focus: 
Lane County, Oregon
Collaborating Partners: 
OSLC Developments, Inc.

The ultimate goal is to increase the number of children who enter kindergarten with the skills necessary for success in school and beyond. The lessons learned in bringing the program to scale in Lane County will subsequently serve as excellent tools to further scale the program across rural and urban communities in Oregon and the United States. 


Entities Receiving Social Innovation Fund Awards from United Way of Lane County

Bethel Education Foundation
Eugene Education Foundation
Lane Education Foundation
Springfield Education Foundation


Bethel Education Foundation
Eugene, OR

The Bethel Education Foundation (BEF) plans to reach 160 students and their families with the Kids in Transition to School (KITS) Program in the first year of the grant. The KITS Program, developed by Oregon Social Learning Center, is an evidence-based school readiness program that provides a boost to children’s literacy, self-regulation, and social skills just prior to kindergarten via a system of positive teaching and behavior change strategies. The program focuses on both children and their families and has demonstrated increases in literacy, numeracy, social and self-regulation skills. The KITS Program is innovative because it provides support for the development of critical school readiness skills in weekly groups conducted before and once school begins, coupled with a vital parenting education component.

The Bethel Education Foundation will partner with the Bethel, Creswell and Junction City School Districts to implement the KITS program in four Title I schools (two in Bethel, one in Creswell and one in Junction City). The Bethel School District serves a more urban population and will draw families from their entire district to fill four KITS groups. The Junction City and Creswell School Districts serve rural communities and will each run two KITS groups.

The mission of BEF is to enhance and invest in educational excellence in the Bethel School District by providing enriching educational opportunities for students, partnering with staff to deliver innovative and exemplary instruction, and engaging the community to ensure a quality education for all. The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant will enable the participating school districts to hire and train staff in the KITS model, thereby building internal capacity to institutionalize, evaluate, expand, and sustain the program within the schools.


Eugene Education Foundation
Eugene, OR

The Eugene Education Foundation (EEF) plans to reach 40 students and their families with the Kids in Transition to School (KITS) Program in the first year of the grant. The KITS Program, developed by Oregon Social Learning Center, is an evidence-based school readiness program that provides a boost to children’s literacy, self-regulation, and social skills just prior to kindergarten via a system of positive teaching and behavior change strategies. The program focuses on both children and their families and has demonstrated increases in literacy, numeracy, social and self-regulation skills. The KITS Program is innovative because it provides support for the development of critical school readiness skills in weekly groups conducted before and once school begins, coupled with a vital parenting education component. 

The mission of the Eugene Education Foundation is to promote educational excellence and opportunities for all students in the Eugene District 4J Public Schools. EEF channels community support to schools, classrooms and district programs through its annual grant awards and year-round fundraising efforts. 

EEF will partner with the 4J School District to implement the KITS Program in Title I schools. The 4J School District is the largest school district in Lane County, and serves a diverse, urban population. It will draw families from regions within the district to fill two KITS groups in two schools during the first program year. The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant will enable the school district to hire and train staff in the KITS model, thereby building internal capacity to institutionalize, evaluate, expand, and sustain the program within the schools.


Lane Education Foundation
Eugene, OR

The Lane Education Foundation (LEF) plans to reach 235 students and their families with the Kids in Transition to School (KITS) Program in the first year of the grant. The KITS Program, developed by Oregon Social Learning Center, is an evidence-based school readiness program that provides a boost to children’s literacy, self-regulation, and social skills just prior to kindergarten via a system of positive teaching and behavior change strategies. The program focuses on both children and their families and has demonstrated increases in literacy, numeracy, social and self-regulation skills. The KITS Program is innovative because it provides support for the development of critical school readiness skills in weekly groups conducted before and once school begins, coupled with a vital parenting education component.

LEF’s goal is to ensure every child in Lane County has opportunities for intellectual growth and success regardless of need, ability, or location. LEF’s primary focus is to support students in Lane County who are the most marginalized, including students with special needs and those in the smaller, rural school districts without a school foundation of their own.  LEF is the foundation for the Lane Education Service District, a provider of services for students with special needs, administrative services, technology support, and school improvement services for all Lane County school districts.

LEF will partner with the South Lane, Crow-Applegate-Lorane, Fern Ridge, Lowell, Mapleton, Marcola, McKenzie and Siuslaw School Districts to implement 12 KITS groups in nine Title I schools in the first program year of the grant. Three of the larger school districts plan to implement one additional group in the second year. All of the districts are relatively small (serve 150 to 2,700 students) and are in outlying, rural areas of the county. About 56% of children enrolled receive free/reduced price lunch. The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant will enable the participating school districts to hire and train staff in the KITS model, thereby building internal capacity to institutionalize, evaluate, expand, and sustain the program within the schools.


Springfield Education Foundation
Springfield, OR

The Springfield Education Foundation (SEF) plans to reach 60 students and their families with the Kids in Transition to School (KITS) Program in the first year of the grant. The KITS Program, developed by Oregon Social Learning Center, is an evidence-based school readiness program that provides a boost to children’s literacy, self-regulation, and social skills just prior to kindergarten via a system of positive teaching and behavior change strategies. The program focuses on both children and their families and has demonstrated increases in literacy, numeracy, social and self-regulation skills. The KITS Program is innovative because it provides support for the development of critical school readiness skills in weekly groups conducted before and once school begins, coupled with a vital parenting education component.

The mission of the Springfield Education Foundation is to build bright and successful futures for all students through financial support and community involvement. SEF works in alignment with Springfield Public Schools to strengthen their schools, helping to ensure children are solid learners with the knowledge and skills to be productive citizens now and in the future. SEF will partner with the Springfield School District to implement the program in three Title I schools (at least 85% of children in the identified schools receive free/reduced price lunch). The Springfield School District serves a more urban population and a large number of students experiencing poverty.  The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant will enable the participating school district to hire and train staff in the KITS model, thereby building internal capacity to institutionalize, evaluate, expand, and sustain the program within the schools.

Back to Top