Born Learning is a national public engagement campaign originated by United Way Worldwide, Civitas, the Ad Council, and the Families and Work Institute that helps parents, grandparents, and caregivers explore ways to turn everyday moments into fun learning opportunities. Everyday life is a learning experience for children.

Sharing a vision for helping all children be ready for school and a lifetime of success, United Way of the Piedmont partnered with 6 other United Ways in the Upstate to create Born Learning Upstate SC, an effort to build on the national Born Learning campaign by creating a comprehensive local public engagement campaign.


Parents and caregivers of young children understand that the early years are important, yet many aren’t sure how to encourage early learning, or feel they don’t have time to do what it takes to help their child succeed in school. Our community is concerned about children coming to school unprepared.

Born Learning Upstate SC is designed as a tool for long-lasting community change that supports young children. It has three cornerstones:

Providing important information about how young children learn

Born Learning includes public service announcements — television, radio, and print ads and targeted billboards. The PSAs communicate that everyday moments can easily be turned into quality early learning opportunities for young children, as they are born learning. The ads drive parents and caregivers to the Born Learning Upstate SC website for tips, information, resources, and downloadable educational materials.

Providing easy, fun action steps that parents, grandparents, and caregivers can use every day

Educational materials provided by Born Learning make it simple and easy for parents, grandparents, informal caregivers, and professional child care providers to find out about, understand, and apply the latest research to help children come to school ready to succeed. The materials help parents make learning fun and take advantage of everyday moments.

Providing a visible platform for public policy and action

Born Learning puts research-driven products, along with tool sand templates for education and outreach, into communities through forging strong local, regional, and national partnerships that create innovative ideas to help local children.


United Way of the Piedmont implements the Born Learning program in Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union counties through the following programs:

In May, 2014, United Way Young Leaders secured a grant from The Spartanburg County Foundation to install fourteen Born Learning Trails all across Spartanburg County. In addition, Young Leaders raised funds and had those funds matched by Young Philanthropists in Greenville County to install two more Born Learning Trails in the County.

Each Born Learning Trail is a set of 10 engaging signs to help parents and caregivers create learning opportunities for young children. These trails show parents and caregivers how to turn everyday activities into learning moments.

Each sign displays fun and interactive games promoting physical activity that exercises a child’s mind and body. Each sign has learning activities that parents or caregivers can play with young children at different ages. In front of each sign are drawings that correspond to activities on the sign.

United Way of the Piedmont is working with local community centers and funders to expand the Born Learning Trail system in the future.

Learn more here.

In collaboration with Spartanburg Housing Authority, United Way of the Piedmont will install a Born Learning Resource Center at Prince Hall Apartments. Parents and caregivers will have access to age-appropriate manipulatives, activity kits, and a lending library.

United Way of the Piedmont is working to identify additional community centers and funders to create additional Born Learning Resource Centers in the future.