Larimer United for Youth 

A Message From Our Region’s School District Leaders

By United Way of Larimer County

The last two years of disruption and uncertainty have been challenging for everyone, and our children may be experiencing the most profound and the longest-lasting of those impacts. Since the onset of the pandemic, Partners has seen a 200% increase in referrals to its prevention education while also experiencing a 50% decrease in volunteer inquiries.

Although our teachers and staff have worked tirelessly to support student needs, COVID has affected school attendance, academic progress, and social-emotional growth in Larimer County youth. Education has never been an easy profession, and the challenges we face in the wake of this pandemic are creating new opportunities for partnership and a collective approach to supporting our students. 

Across the U.S. and here in Northern Colorado, we are facing a youth mental health crisis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a recent report that says over one-third of high school students experienced poor mental health during the pandemic, with 44% saying they felt persistently sad or hopeless. Many experienced isolation from their peers, significant changes at home and the loss of safety and engagement created by a daily school routine. Teachers in elementary and middle schools are also struggling with increased behaviors and disruptions in the classroom often caused by pandemic-related trauma. Local nonprofit Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) has seen a 37% increase in dependency and neglect cases, and 90% of kids participating in Partners, a Larimer County youth mentoring organization, are experiencing mental health issues personally or in the home.  

We know that keeping kids connected is critical to their social-emotional well-being and for them to remain on track with their studies. As the end of the school year approaches, we are asking our community to consider giving of their time, talents, and treasure to support our students. We can change the trajectory for so many children by coming together around this critical need.  Please join us in leading a Larimer United for Youth. 

Local Resources

Colorado 2-1-1 is a fast and easy way to connect with available resources. Colorado 2-1-1 updates its database daily, and services are confidential and multi-lingual. Trained navigators help connect users with resources, available online, through live chat, and by dialing 2-1-1 on any home, office, or mobile phone. 

 

Gifts of time and talent 

Positive adult role models help children increase their self-confidence, improve their social skills and help inform important decision-making. Visit NOCOVolunteers to find out how you can make a difference. 

 

Donations 

United Way of Larimer County is currently supporting important literacy needs across Poudre, Thompson, and Estes Park school districts. Your gift to the Emerging Priorities Fund ensures that United Way can quickly respond to needs related to early education, literacy, math skills, mentorship, and more. 

 

It is an honor and privilege to lead our local school districts. Your investment in youth and education programming increases exponentially, as our children grow and thrive.  A Larimer United for Youth is a community that creates a brighter future for all.     

 

Brian Kingsley; Poudre School District Superintendent
Dr Marc Schaffer; Thompson School District Superintendent
Bode Ruby; Estes Park School District Superintendent

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