United Way of Central Ohio

Champion of Children

Champion of Children Logo

We all have a stake in making sure today’s children grow up with the educational support and opportunities necessary to learn and succeed to their fullest potential. To achieve this, it is critical that our community commits to children’s education.


Champion of Children is an education initiative focused on supporting United Way of Central Ohio’s community results:

  • Children will enter kindergarten physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively ready to succeed.
  • Youth graduate from high school well-prepared for additional learning and productive careers.

Founded in 1994 by Linda Kass and community stakeholders, Champion of Children has been a leading voice of advocacy for quality education for children in central Ohio. In 2010, Champion of Children joined forces with United Way of Central Ohio to address the educational needs of all children, from birth through graduation. By providing a platform for new ideas, effective approaches, collaboration and, most importantly, for action, Champion of Children motivates and aligns efforts to improve education in our community.

Champion of Children’s MISSION: 

To promote awareness of education issues, inspire donors to invest in work that helps children in central Ohio succeed and to mobilize individuals to support education efforts.

Investment in Champion of Children supports:

Educational programs and partnerships – Funding for innovative, effective programs and initiatives focused on helping to prepare our youth for educational and career success.

  • Annual Franklin County Children’s Report – Highlights and analyzes community issues and statistics related to children and education in central Ohio.
  • Champion of Children Education Journal – Educates the community through the dissemination of news, research and information relevant to education in central Ohio.
  • Year-round community outreach, engagement and advocacy – Includes events, activities and volunteer opportunities that increase awareness and commitment to advancing our children’s education, build advocacy efforts for those too young to speak for themselves, and connect willing individuals with ways to help children and youth in our community.
  • Annual Champion of Children individual and nonprofit organization awards – Awards honor an individual and organization who have exhibited a passion for education and children through their actions, and have had a deep, far-reaching and lasting impact on the lives of children in central Ohio.
  • Annual Champion of Children Signature Event – Annual event bringing the best and brightest leaders in education to central Ohio to highlight best practices and key education issues and opportunities. The event also includes the presentation of the, Champions of Children awards. Join us for our 2014 Signature Event on February 11, 2014.

Why We Need Champions of Children:

Kindergarten Readiness: Nearly 40% of Columbus City School students entering kindergarten don’t know that a story has a beginning, middle and end. More than 75% don’t know the letters of the alphabet. High School Graduation: Each year, at least 1 in 10 students fails to graduate from high school in Franklin County’s 16 public school districts. Last year’s high school dropouts lost more than $5 million in estimated earnings in one year alone.

Join us. Become a champion today!

For more information on this initiative, please contact Elizabeth Trotman, Director of Champion of Children, 614.227.8705.


2013 Franklin County Children's - Executive Summary
2013 Franklin County Children's - Executive Summary
2013-Franklin-County-Childrens-Report_Exec Summ_2.pdf
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