Get Involved in United Way’s Attendance Awareness Month

As president of the Board of Education for J.S. Morton High School District 201, Jeff Pesek serves schools in Cicero and Berwyn, Illinois. In addition to guiding the board’s vision, he has enhanced the district’s curriculum and implemented an open enrollment model to increase access to advanced placement classes. Jeff Pesek complements his commitment to his district with support of charitable organizations including United Way.

United Way has found that chronic school absence makes students less likely to meet academic standards and, ultimately, less likely to graduate on schedule. The nonprofit defines chronic absence as missing 10 percent or more of classes, whether absences are excused or unexcused. In order to raise awareness of the importance of regular school attendance, United Way has declared September 2015 “Attendance Awareness Month.”

During September, chapters nationwide are implementing initiatives to celebrate learning and combat chronic absence. For example, in northeastern and central Connecticut, organizers have placed signage on buses, developed a web portal through which parents and community members can access tools and educational resources, and hosted events to mark the return to school. To facilitate these regional efforts, United Way has created a website,, that provides tool kits, promotional materials, and useful resources for families, educators, chambers of commerce, and other entities, making it easy to get involved.


The United Way’s Born Learning Program

As president of the board of education for J.S. Morton High School District 201 in Cicero, Illinois, Jeff Pesek has worked with board members to improve the district’s policies and procedures. Outside of his professional responsibilities, Jeff Pesek supports charitable organizations such as the United Way.

The United Way mobilizes communities across the world to become stronger and more stable. Born Learning is a United Way public-engagement program that encourages parents to create an environment of learning for their children from birth. The campaign teaches parents, grandparents, and caregivers to approach everyday activities, such as cooking, reading, and even doing the laundry, as valuable opportunities for children to grow in their awareness and curiosity about the world.

Launched in 2005 on the Internet, Born Learning offers more than 500 online resources and educational materials, as well as downloadable tools and tips to help caregivers engage their young children and create lifelong learners. The simple, practical tools are designed to improve school readiness and create lasting community change. Visit for complete information.

United Way to Hold 2015 Financial and Team Management Forum in October

Jeff Pesek is an elected official for the JS Morton High School District 201 in Cicero, Illinois, and serves as the president of the district’s board of education. Additionally, Jeff Pesek supports his community by remaining a committed sponsor of the United Way, an organization that strives to unite communities and foster quality of life. In October, the United Way will hold its 2015 Financial and Team Management Forum.

A professional growth opportunity that spans three days, the Financial and Team Management Forum serves as a meeting ground for United Way members and affiliates to network and share their knowledge. Its programming track consists of learning opportunities designed to foster community collaboration to implement positive change in the community. Featuring speaker presentations from educational leaders and United Way directors, it combines human resource management, financial, and cross-functional topics.

United Way’s 2015 forum will take place October 5-7 at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park, Arizona. General speakers for this year’s conference include two United Way directors and the founder of Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India.

The United Way Experiences a Growing Rate of Volunteerism

An elected Illinois-based policy maker, Jeff Pesek focuses on supporting education. In his free time, Jeff Pesek engages with several nonprofits, including the Wounded Warrior Project and the United Way.

A driving force for nonprofit and community organizations, volunteerism is essential for carrying out logistics that positively affect local neighborhoods and schools. Unfortunately, as stated in a report released by the United Way in June of 2014, the United States saw a significant decrease in the volunteer rate, which fell from 27.5 percent in 2002, the first year data was collected, to 25.4 percent in 2013, even with a population growth that resulted in a 9 percent increase in actual volunteers.

However, not all goodwill organizations were affected the same way. The United Way during the same time period saw a boost of 23.8 percent in volunteers. The United Way president and chief executive officer, Brian Gallagher, attributes the growing rate to the organization establishing solid partnerships with people and businesses. In addition, he states that the United Way’s focus on education, finance, and health, all of which are necessary for a strong community, contributes to the success of its volunteer programs.

Illinois United Way Chapters Begin to Raise Funds

Jeff Pesek is an experienced policymaker with the J. Sterling Morton High School District 201 in Illinois. Outside of his leadership duties as a policymaker, Jeff Pesek supports various charities, including the United Way and the Wounded Warriors Project.

United Way chapters all across the United States are beginning new fundraising campaigns, including multiple chapters in Illinois and surrounding areas. The United Way Blackhawk Region recently began its 2014 campaign at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport as part of the annual Day of Caring event. During the 2013 fundraising campaign, the United Way Blackhawk Region generated nearly $3 million. The money was directed to 94 health and human services organizations providing services throughout the region.

The Illinois Division of the United Way of Greater St. Louis has set a 2014 fundraising goal of $1.5 million. The money raised will be used to support 30 health and human services programs serving the counties of Clinton, Monroe, Randolph, and St. Clair. The Edwardsville United Way chapter, meanwhile, will follow financial professional Joann Barton as she coordinates fundraising events that will support 40 local agencies.

DuPage/West Cook United Way Hosts Annual 5K Walk/Run

Jeff Pesek serves as president of the board of directors for J. Sterling Morton High School District 201 in Cicero, Illinois. A graduate of the district, he seeks to improve education standards within the district and works with community members to achieve this goal. A devoted member of the community, Jeff Pesek regularly gives his time and resources to several charities with local ties, including the United Way.

One of the nation’s largest nonprofit organizations, the United Way maintains a network of more than 1,200 local chapters throughout the country, as well as 600 offices located in 45 countries and territories around the world. The nonprofit’s goal is to give, advocate, and volunteer to support innovative programs and generate an impact within local communities.

Each year, the DuPage/West Cook United Way chapter sponsors a 5K run/walk and one-mile kids fun run to help raise money for local programs. The 2014 event, called the LIVE UNITED 5K Run/Walk, occurred on May 3 at Cantigny Park in Wheaton and benefitted the Southeast DuPage/Health Initiative. The Westmont, Illinois, initiative offers free medical and mental health services for low-income adults.

United Way’s Education Initiatives

A school board president, Jeff Pesek supports education inside and outside of his school district. In particular, Jeff Pesek is an advocate of United Way.

With a history dating back to 1887, United Way has grown from humble beginnings to become a notable organization that promotes healthy living, financial stability, and advancement in education. In particular, United Way is especially committed to reducing the number of high school dropouts, which stands at 1.2 million students every year as of 2008.

A major component of the organization’s 10-year initiative, education provides valuable knowledge and resources that help young adults achieve personal and career goals past high school. Understanding that high school dropouts are made over the course of time, United Way is focusing its education goals on reforming strategies and approaches from early childhood. This includes building supportive communities, involving families, and building effective schools and curriculums.

To learn more about United Way’s educational goals, visit