United Way of Central Kansas supports numerous Community Partners that focus on different aspects of Education.  These agencies include Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas, Child Abuse Prevention Education, Family Crisis Center, Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland, Immediate Intervention Programs, and also our childcare providers, Caring Hands Daycare and Great Bend Children's Learning Center.

United Way of Central Kansas also stepped into the education arena by bringing Reality U to Great Bend as well as to Hoisington, who hosted the event for Ellinwood, Larned, Central Plains, Otis-Bison, and Pawnee Heights.  UWCK, with the programming from the Pando Initiative, introduced this program to USD 428 in 2016.  With this program, Great Bend Middle School 8th graders were able to see what adulthood is all about.  Students took  a short online test with questions about their GPA, what they hope to be, whether or not they will be married, and if they want to have children.  These questions helped the program Reality U determine how much the students would be earning and their life situation at age 26.  On October 13th, 2016 Reality struck and it was time to go shopping for the necessities in life.  Throughout the day students went to each of 13 booths including car insurance, childcare, utilities, housing, medical, and utilities.  At each of these booths, they had decisions to make about how much of their money they spent and what they need.  If they went over budget, they had to figure out where they could cut expenses to make sure that they were within their budget.  There was also be a “Chance” booth where they rolled the dice and they may have had to replace a hot water heater or have a broken leg that they haven’t budgeted for.

Throughout the day there were also numerous speakers talking to the students about how the choices that they can make now can and will have an impact on their lives at 26.  Some of these topics included making a plan, the reality of high school, the cost of delinquency, and hearing from people in the area that are between 26-32 years old about what their lives are really like.