Forum Flash: July 2011

Forum Flash: Afterschool quality, boosting student achievement, state-level

The Forum for Youth Investment Forum Flash

www.forumfyi.org
 

Forum Flash is part of the Forum for Youth Investment's e-newsletter series. Forum Flash informs you about what's going on at the Forum for Youth Investment, and about resources, opportunities, careers and recent events.

Improving Afterschool Quality: A New Resource  

A new resource is on the way to help providers and funders improve the quality of out-of-school time services.

 

The Forum for Youth Investment, along with the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, has been commissioned by The Wallace Foundation to develop a guide for cities, large intermediaries and large providers on how to improve the quality of out-of-school time services.   

 

The online guide will address a critical gap: Although individual programs and agencies can find resources to improve their services, little guidance is available to cities or large networks on steps to improve quality across a range of providers. This article explains the project.

Improving Afterschool Quality: How it Works

Just how does an organization increase the quality of its afterschool programs? In Chicago, the answer was to adopt research-based quality improvement tools developed by the Weikart Center, a division of the Forum.

 

In this article, Afterschool Matters explains how use of the Weikart Center's quality improvement approach is helping the Chicago Out-of-School Time Project. Learn more about the Weikart Center's Youth Program Quality Intervention.

Finding Out What Helps Students Most

With so many initiatives focused on trying to boost student achievement, practitioners often find it overwhelming to figure out what strategies work best for which students. That's why the Forum is embarking on a project to bring together practitioners and researchers who have been funded through the U.S. Department of Education's Investing in Innovation Fund (i3). That fund aims to expand the implementation of innovative practices that improve student achievement.

 

The project, funded by the William T. Grant and Spencer Foundations, represents a unique opportunity to learn more about how to effectively scale up educational innovations. The Forum will work with the funders and the Knowledge Alliance to convene grantees twice annually and to create a set of experiences that strengthens projects and builds collective knowledge in the field.  

Putting Ready by 21 to Work Ready by 21

For those looking to turn Ready by 21 theories into practice at the state level, Chattanooga, Tenn., was the place to be last month. At the Ready by 21 State Strategy Symposium, gathered by the Forum and the National Conference of State Legislatures, about 20 state-level leaders convened for two days to learn more about Ready by 21 and develop action plans to take home.

 

The leaders - representing Ready by 21 partners in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee - assessed and identified growth opportunities involving their partnerships, goals, data collection and strategies. They went home with ambitious plans for new work with business, government, advocacy and nonprofit leaders, with continuing help from the Forum.

Energizing a Children's Cabinet in Time of Change  

How do you continue the work of a children's cabinet when your state gets a new governor? Florida handled that challenge by reinvigorating its Children and Youth Cabinet with a full-day retreat.

 

The June even informed newly appointed agency leaders about the on-going work of the Children and Youth Cabinet and armed cabinet members with strategies for how to improve outcomes for the Florida's young people. Forum Policy Director Elizabeth Gaines shared best practices for children's cabinets and introduced the Ready by 21 Leadership Capacity Standards.

Bridging School and Afterschool  

Building bridges between school and afterschool is a common yet daunting task in communities around the country. That's why afterschool practitioners, educators, researchers and policymakers will convene in Seattle in October for the 9th annual Bridge from School to Afterschool and Back Conference.

 

Topics include Ready by 21: Creating Partnerships for Children and Youth; From Soft Skills to Hard Data: Measuring Youth Program Outcomes; and Exploring the Importance of Non-Academic Outcomes in Addressing Racial Equity.

 

Forum CEO Karen Pittman will be the keynote speaker at the conference, which is run by School's Out Washington, while Forum Special Projects Director Nicole Yohalem will help run the workshop on outcome measures. Find details about the agenda and registration .

Job Openings at the Forum  

 

Managing Director for Program and Field Services
Responsible for overseeing implementation of key programmatic work undertaken by the Forum, including Ready by 21®.Major responsibilities include project management, product development, field services delivery and development of program staff and consultants.  This position plays a critical leadership role within the organization, helping to shape strategy, manage staff and develop key external relationships, as well as being involved in fundraising. 

 

See the full job description. 

 

Finance Associate
An integral member of the finance team, with responsibility for preparing the bi-weekly accounts payable/receivable packets for external accounting and for the generation of checks and invoices. Other duties include vendor relationship management, processing contracts, maintenance of files and archives, charting, graphing, analysis, a variety of administrative tasks, and liaison functions between program personnel and external audit and accounting firms.

 

See the full job description. 

The Forum for Youth Investment is a nonprofit, nonpartisan "action tank" dedicated to helping communities and the nation make sure all young people are Ready by 21®: ready for college, work and life. Informed by rigorous research and practical experience, the Forum forges innovative ideas, strategies and partners to strengthen solutions for young people and those who care about them.
 

Publishing Date: 
July 25, 2011