Forum Flash - March 17, 2011

Forum Flash: Raising Youth Voices, Ready by 21 Success, Improving Program Quality

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.

Real Youth Engagement with Washington

Want to get youth voices heard at the highest levels? Opportunities are expanding.
The U.S. Department of Education's recent Voices in Action National Youth Summit, which SparkAction and the Forum worked to support, brought more than 300 middle and high school students to Howard University in Washington, D.C., to speak directly with top-level officials from the department about school reform and college completion. For those who couldn't make it to Washington, SparkAction hosted a webcast, Twitter feed and an "Ask the Secretary" competition, inviting young people to submit and vote for questions for Education
Secretary Arne Duncan.

 

SparkAction and its partners will keep up the momentum from the summit through editorial coverage, action alerts and interactive components. The Obama administration has committed to listening to youth directly through a series of Roundtables with Young Americans this spring.  Interested youth organizations or communities can download a toolkit and register their events (which could include a visit from an administration official) here.

 

Nashville Shows How to Develop a Master Plan

Here's one way to develop and implement a Youth Master Plan: The latest in the Forum's continuing series of Ready by 21 case studies looks at how leaders in Nashville engaged their entire community to create a shared vision for their youth and a master plan to carry out that vision. Today that vision and plan, informed by the Ready by 21 strategies, provide the framework for delivering Nashville's youth services and supports.

Learning from Petaluma's Success Ready by 21

A nonprofit news service about advocacy on behalf of youth is spreading the word about the great strides made by Ready by 21 communities. In searching for evidence-based stories about "what works," Child Advocacy 360 summarizes how Petaluma, Calif., used Ready by 21 strategies to help set priorities, engage youth and change practices.

Staff Assessment Tool Improves Program Quality

All youth-serving agencies want to improve their staff training and program quality - but how? The Forum's Weikart Center is answering that question for Camp Fire USA programs around the country. Last year, The David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality field-tested the Camp Fire USA Program Quality Assessment - a self-assessment tool that evaluates the quality of youth programs and identifies staff training needs. Most of the staff in the 40 participating Camp Fire councils reported that the initiative improved staff skills and program quality, and was well worth their time.

 

The next phase is underway: Based on the feedback and results from the field test, the assessment has been modified to better meet the needs of Camp Fire Councils. Camp Fire USA is expanding the use of the assessment this year, as part of its effort to ensure that all Camp Fire programs meet its system-wide national program standards.  

 

More information about the assessment, including a link to the report about the field test, is here.
Camp Fire USA's February newsletter summarized the field test and the next round of assessments here.

More Communities Implementing Ready by 21

More and more communities are dipping into the Ready by 21 waters:  The Ready by 21 Partnership has selected partnerships in four communities - Montgomery County, Md.; Broward County, Fla.; El Dorado County, Calif.; and Sonoma County, Calif. - to participate in the Ready by 21, Credentialed by 26 Challenge. Those communities will articulate goals and develop plans to increase supports for older youth, with an emphasis on helping more low-income, minority and first-generation college-goers obtain postsecondary credentials with labor market value. Each selected community will receive training, coaching, tools, facilitation support, networking opportunities and a $5,000 grant.

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: 
March 18, 2011