We are thrilled to announce we will be going to Seattle for the 8th annual Ready by 21 National Meeting, April 23-25, 2019. We hope you will join us!


Forum Flash - October 21, 2010

This month you'll find out about the Ready by 21 Policy Coalition's Capitol Hill briefing, Big Tent Conference, and Ready by 21 webinars. Also don't forget to read Karen's Youth Today column on the Gallup Student Poll, two "big idea" policy papers, and the first installment of the Ready by 21, Credentialed by 26 Series.

The Forum for Youth Investment Forum Flash
October 20, 2010

In This Issue
Ready by 21 Policy Coalition Congressional Briefing
Ready by 21 Webinar: Gallup Student Poll
BigTent Conference
Ready by 21 Webinar: Building Broader Partnerships 101
In the Field

Quick Links

Karen's Columns


Weikart Center

Ready by 21

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Dear Forum Flash Reader,

While October slowly ushers in the colder weather to the Washington, DC area, the Forum has kicked into high gear and busily advancing its mission that all young people be Ready by 21 - ready for college, work and life.

This month you'll find out about the Ready by 21 Policy Coalition's Capitol Hill briefing, Big Tent Conference, and Ready by 21 webinars. Also don't forget to read Karen's Youth Today column on the Gallup Student Poll, two "big idea" policy papers, and the first installment of the Ready by 21, Credentialed by 26 Series.

Ready by 21 Policy Coalition Congressional Briefing 
Nearly 100 Congressional staff, federal executive branch leaders and national child and youth advocates attended the first Capitol Hill briefing held by the Ready by 21 Policy Coalition.

Steve Wing, president of Corporate Voices for Working Families, provided the opening remarks. Karen Pittman unveiled the Ready by 21 Policy Alignment Guide, which helps policymakers ensure that new child and youth policies align with existing efforts to create a seamless system of supports.

The briefing also featured a powerhouse panel of leaders from the Ready by 21 Southeast Challenge sites including presentations from Ronnie Stein, Nashville, TN Metro Councilman-at-Large, Thomas White, Senior Vice President for Investor Relations at the Chattanooga-based Unum Group, and Gaye Morris Smith, Executive Director of the Georgia Family Connection Partnership.

Ready by 21 Webinar: Introduction to the Ready by 21 Strategies
Tuesday, October 26, 2010, 3:00 PM ET
 Ready by 21
Ready by 21 is a set of innovative strategies that helps communities improve the odds that all youth will be ready for college, work and life. Ready by 21 meets leaders where they are, challenges them to think and work differently, and helps them progress further and faster to deliver results for youth. This webinar will guide participants through the essential components of Ready by 21 - the rationale, tools and services available to communities and leaders, and the Ready by 21 National Partnership.  
Cost: Free
Space is limited! Register for this free event.

BigTent Conference 
Thursday, November 18, 2010 - Saturday, November 20, 2010
Houston, Texas

BigTentCome to the first-ever BigTent Conference for inspiring speakers, 150+ practical workshops, and celebratory community building to advance the health and well-being of families and children. The Forum, along with dozens of other national youth-serving organizations, is partnering with conference host Search Institute, and the Ready by 21 Partnership is a financial sponsor of BigTent. Bringing together thousands of professionals and youth from all youth-serving sectors, this first of its kind, Asset-rich conference, will energize and inspire those of us committed to the success of children and youth in our communities. There's a place for us at the BigTent. Will you be there? 

Click here to get information about the BigTent Conference!

Upcoming Ready by 21 Webinar: Building Broader Partnerships 101 
Tuesday, November 30, 2010, 3:00 PM ET

Ready by 21 LogoPartnerships and collaborations can take many forms. Whatever the scale of the partnership, effective partnerships are built on clear agreements about the scope of work to be done, the capacity needed to do the work and the mandate or authority in place to ensure that the work is done thoroughly and well. Come learn about this leadership capacity area and what you can do to build broader, more effective partnerships.

Space is limited! Register Now!

Our Most Recent Webinars and Institutes


Ready by 21: Results-Based Planning for Communities Webinar.

This interactive session provided an overview of the Results-Based Accountability (RBA) approach to measuring and improving the performance of organizations and community quality-of-life in a way that aligns with the Ready by 21 strategies. RBA is based on a "change-agent" model that helps communities align the efforts of various programs, service systems and strategies to more effectively impact results for children, families and communities.

In the Field

Forum staff author "Big Ideas" papers. 
During the month of October, First Focus released a weekly selection of papers for a new series entitled Big Ideas: Game-Changers for Children. Forum staff, Thaddeus Ferber and Elizabeth Gaines explore the need for a broad, coordinated strategic plan for our nation's children and youth on the federal, state and local levels in "What's the Plan?" In "Big Idea: Youth Councils," Ferber describes how a national network of Youth Councils can positively affect policymaking decisions and how to create high quality teams of engaged youth.

Read the papers.

'Hope Springs Eternal,' according to Gallup Student Poll
Karens Youth Today It is one thing for the poet Alexander Pope to suggest that "hope springs eternal in the human breast." It is another for the leading pollsters to prove it. At a recent Gallup event releasing two polls on education, Dr. Shane Lopez, Gallup senior scientist and creator of the Gallup Student Poll, reported that students participating in the free and reduced lunch program or reporting low family income score the same as more affluent students on Gallup's Hope, Engagement or Well-being indices, which are measures of student readiness for the future. How is that possible? It flies in the face of common sense. Did Gallup intentionally design indices that are insensitive to the differentiating realities of class? Yes, in fact, it did.

Read the rest of Karen's column.


Insulating the Education Pipeline to Increase Postsecondary Success.
The first in a new Ready by 21, Credentialed by 26 series, this issue brief explores why postsecondary completion is an important goal and looks at how the U.S. is currently faring. It identifies partners that need to be mobilized and policy approaches that need to be enacted in order to significantly increase completion rates and help more young people successfully transition to adulthood.


There's even more going on at the Forum than we can feature here, so be sure to check our website for the latest news.


Karen Pittman and Nalini Ravindranath

The Forum for Youth Investment

Publishing Date: 
October 20, 2010