United Way of Central Georgia Receives $300,000 Grant from Peyton Anderson Foundation to Support Community Schools United Initiative

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Monday, June 10th, 2024

The United Way of Central Georgia is honored to announce the receipt of a $300,000 grant from the Peyton Anderson Foundation to support its Community Schools United initiative in Central Georgia. This collaborative program addresses educational inequities by providing students in low-income communities with the resources they need to thrive, while also offering vital support to their parents and neighborhood residents.

Dr. Sundra Woodford, Director of Community Schools United, stated, “This generous grant from the Peyton Anderson Foundation will ensure that children growing up in low-income communities have educational opportunities that prepare them for a brighter tomorrow. Additionally, it will enable us to engage parents and adults by providing them with resources to improve their financial literacy, gain further education, and qualify for better jobs.”

George McCanless, CEO of United Way of Central Georgia, expressed his gratitude, saying, “Thanks to the Peyton Anderson Foundation, our Community Schools United program will continue to give hope to thousands of students and parents in Central Georgia. Investing in students and empowering adults is the best investment anyone can make.” 

Founded in 2021, the United Way of Central Georgia launched Community Schools United with a neighborhood-based strategy to transform public schools into community hubs. This approach not only provides low-income students with access to vital resources at their schools but also supports parents and other adults by offering programs that help them address critical needs. By improving financial literacy, providing educational opportunities, and facilitating job readiness, the initiative aims to uplift entire families and create lasting positive impacts. Studies show this model has been a monumental success, offering the community a $12-$15 return on every dollar invested.

The Peyton Anderson Foundation serves as a lasting memorial to a man whose goodwill lives on long after his death in 1988. Peyton T. Anderson Jr., owner in the 1950s and 60s of The Macon Telegraph and the Macon News, was a highly successful businessman, family man, veteran, civic leader, and philanthropist. In his will, Peyton Anderson assigned the bulk of his estate for charitable purposes to benefit his hometown and region of Macon and Central Georgia. He maintained that the people of Macon, Bibb County, and Central Georgia had been good to him and he in turn wished to be good to them. For more information about Peyton Anderson’s legacy, the Foundation, and the grant application process, please visitPeytonAnderson.org.