Initiatives Nationwide


Success By 6 was first created in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1989 as a collaborative community initiative to focus attention and take action on strategies to help all children achieve healthy early development. It included partners representing key sectors of the community including United Way, corporations, schools, government, service organizations and others. Success By 6 identified the key barriers to all children achieving positive early development, and set a vision and plan of action for eliminating them. The plan included working collaboratively to raise public awareness, influence public policies, and increase access to services - all with the goal of helping young children succeed.

While United Ways have a long tradition of supporting agencies and programs that help young children and their families, Success By 6 was different. It was not a program. It was created as a collaborative community building initiative that made the "case" for the community to understand the importance of positive early childhood development to later success, and advance it through new and systemic strategies engaging partners from all sectors of the community.

This approach appealed to many United Ways across the country and they began adapting the Success By 6 model. There are currently over 300 Success By 6 or like initiatives in 42 states at various stages of development and implementation. Since 1991, United Way of America has provided technical assistance and support to United Ways on implementing Success By 6.

On February 4, 1999, Bank of America [NationsBank] announced a five-year investment of $50 million in United Way's Success By 6. Bank of America President and CEO, Hugh McColl, in announcing the grant stated that, "Our partnership with United Way of America and Success By 6 is deliberate. An investment in early childhood development will ensure a brighter future for children, families and the nation. In my opinion there is no more effective way to strengthen our communities and our country".

Research shows the importance of positive child development during the early years to later success in school and in life as well as to prevent many social and economic problems, such as illiteracy, youth violence, teen pregnancy and unemployment. If the development of children is to be improved, a high priority needs to be placed on meeting their needs when they are very young.

You can visit the national Success By 6 Web site at: