Community Impact Education Pathway Faces of Success: Read to Succeed student Q-Nii Dowell
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Faces of Success: Read to Succeed student Q-Nii Dowell

Transitioning to a new school is intimidating; imagine what the experience is like for a child entering kindergarten. Q-Nii Dowell still has a couple of months to enjoy summer before her transition begins. When it does, she’ll probably really enjoy her new learning environment.

“She has really come out of her shell and can communicate very well; she enjoys interacting with other children and is excited about learning,” said Q-Nii’s mother, Cabala Dowell.

Q-Nii recently graduated from Wayne Reed Christian Childcare Center, one of 13 sites across Nashville where United Way’s Read to Succeed program is offered. Read to Succeed is a comprehensive early literacy program that provides at-risk children with the basic reading readiness skills to prepare them for future educational success. Dowell is amazed by the results her daughter has achieved throughout her time in the Read to Succeed program.

“The program has taught her how to count, and she also knows all of her alphabet shapes. She can look through different books and recognize most of the words.”     

Read to Succeed utilizes key components like research-based curricula, highly qualified instructional coaches, parental engagement and lending libraries. They help build and strengthen the educational foundations of students enrolled and contribute to educational gains that extend well beyond their time in the program. The Read to Succeed program currently has a 96 percent success rate in kindergarten preparedness and has Dowell excited about her daughter’s progress, as well as her educational future.           

“If it weren’t for Read to Succeed, I think she would have been behind, and I don’t think she’d be prepared for kindergarten. Now, the possibilities are endless; I can see her graduating from high school and attending college. As a single mother, I’m excited to see what’s next for her.”   

Since 2004, United Way’s Read to Succeed program has prepared more than 12,000 at-risk Nashville children for the next phase of their educational development. Dowell urges parents of students enrolled in the program to remain engaged and encourage them when they reach milestones.

“I’m so proud to see Q-Nii graduate, and I always believed she could do it. Read to Succeed is great, and it will help other students learn many invaluable skills that will serve them well in the future.”

The future just became much less intimidating for Q-Nii, thanks to United Way’s Read to Succeed program. While the Dowell Family is excited about their summer, they’re even more eager for the upcoming school year to begin.   

To learn more about United Way's Education programs, click here.
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