New Materials

How Public Policy Can Support Collective Impact

How can public policies be collective impact friendly?

Publishing Date: 
November 20, 2014

Collective Impact for Policymakers: Working Together for Children and Youth

Collective Impact for Policymakers report cover

Government policies must change in order to help partnerships improve the lives of young people through the power of collective impact.

That’s the message of a new report that examines how federal, state and local policies impede collaboration in the child and youth field – and how they can enhance collaboration instead.

Publishing Date: 
September 11, 2014

Stories of Success

2013 Annual Report cover

The Quest for Readiness, the Forum for Youth Investment’s 2013 Annual Report, brings you stories from around the country about community and state leaders working to strengthening partnerships, practices and

Publishing Date: 
July 10, 2014

Needed: More Better Learning Time

What image comes to mind if I ask you to imagine students learning? Young people in small groups focusing on projects they designed?

Publishing Date: 
April 10, 2014

Ready by 21 State Policy Survey 2013

The Ready by 21 State Policy Survey: Child and Youth Policy Coordinating Bodies in the U.S. is the nation's only survey of state child and youth policy coordinating bodies (e.g., children's cabinets, early childhood councils and P-20/P-16 education councils.) The survey assesses coordinating bo

Publishing Date: 
February 26, 2014

The Right Kind of Opportunity for Youth

What happens when you give youth an opportunity? It all depends on the kind of opportunity. 

Publishing Date: 
January 31, 2014

Education Must Focus on Competence, Not Outdated Traditions

In this dual blog posting, the Forum’s Karen Pittman and Stephanie Malia Krauss weigh in on an article about competence-based vs. traditional education. Pittman and Krauss reflect on their own experiences and offer suggestions on how schools can break free from the status quo.

 

Publishing Date: 
January 23, 2014

From Soft Skills to Hard Data: Measuring Youth Program Outcomes

Everyone who runs a youth program believes in their hearts that their program helps kids – but in their heads, they know they need convincing data to prove it. This guide from the Forum for Youth Investment – From Soft Skills to Hard Data: Measuring Youth Program Outcomes – updated from 2011, is here to help them get it.

Publishing Date: 
January 22, 2014

'Unschooling' and Readiness for Success: A Disconnect

We know that America’s education system needs to be revamped, but is the answer to “unschool” our young people? Disturbingly, some people think so.

Publishing Date: 
January 13, 2014

Youth Policy News - January 2014

January edition of Youth Policy News

Publishing Date: 
January 10, 2014

Why Teaching is Harder than Rocket Science

While it may not be on their list to Santa, there’s one thing that every kid wants and needs:  a good teacher. Take time over the holidays to read this insightful and informative story from Ryan Fuller, a for

Publishing Date: 
December 20, 2013

YouthBuild Grads Stir Inspiration and Anger

The YouthBuild board of directors spent Friday morning at the Sasha Bruce YouthBuild Program in a very poor section of Washington, D.C. For two hours, we listened to six recent graduates talk about their pasts, their futures and the transformations they experienced because of the program and the commitment of the staff. 

Publishing Date: 
December 19, 2013

Ready Thoughts: September 2013

 Back to School, with Better Data

By Karen Pittman, President and CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment

 

Publishing Date: 
September 23, 2013

Webinar: White House/Obama Administration Policies Supporting Comprehensive Strategies for Youth

In order for community partnerships to have a positive impact on young people's lives, federal policies need to support comprehensive, place-based interagency efforts.

Publishing Date: 
August 6, 2013

Report Celebrates Efforts to Help Young People

Whether you work on community collaborations, youth programs or youth policies, your efforts are represented in the Forum for Youth Investment's 2012 Annual Report.

Publishing Date: 
January 16, 2013

Building Citywide Systems for Quality: A Guide and Case Studies for Afterschool Leaders

While an increasing number of afterschool providers have made quality improvement a priority, addressing quality in a systemic way is complicated: It requires research, planning, building consensus, developing resources, managing new processes and sometimes redefining old relationships.

Publishing Date: 
October 2, 2012

Ready Thoughts: September 2012

Collective Impact and Opportunity Youth: Movements at the Crossroads

By Karen Pittman, President and CEO of the Forum for Youth Investment

Publishing Date: 
September 6, 2012

Leading the Leaders: What It Takes to Build an Overarching Leadership Council Webinar Recording

With various people and organizations playing unique roles in your community – focusing on particular issues, populations and geographic areas – someone needs to keep an eye on the big picture, connect the work of those groups and make sure there are no gaps. That’s why every successful Ready by 21 state or community has an overarching leadership council.

Publishing Date: 
August 28, 2012

Credentialed by 26 Series: Raising the Bar from Ready by 21 to Credentialed by 26: Highlights from Community and State Efforts

Anyone working to increase postsecondary success knows that aligning the work of various stakeholders and helping sectors work together is essential – and a new issue brief shows how leaders are making that happen on both the community and state levels.

Publishing Date: 
May 29, 2012

Continuous Quality Improvement in Afterschool Settings: Impact Findings from the Youth Program Quality Intervention

This study, Continuous Quality Improvement in Afterschool Settings: Impact Findings from the Youth Program Quality Intervention, shows how a cycle of assessing staff practices, planning based on the assessment and targeted training improves the quality of services delivered to young people.

Publishing Date: 
May 14, 2012

Ready Thoughts: April 2012

Ready Thoughts: A Home Run for Quality Improvement

Publishing Date: 
April 6, 2012

Ready Thoughts: February 2012

Ready Thoughts: The Power of One

Publishing Date: 
February 24, 2012

What's in Your Cabinet?

In the face of budget cuts that threaten to erode crucial supports for children and youth, some state agencies have found a promising mechanism for increasing efficiency while maintaining or even improving supports for young people: Children’s Cabinets.

Publishing Date: 
February 16, 2012

New Policies Should Align With Existing Goals and Plans for Children and Youth

To have a collective impact on child and youth outcomes, leaders must develop and implement a broad, long-term child and youth strategy, and be accountable for results. This can be a challenge. Policies often require the creation of strategic plans that are organized around a single, narrow topic.

Publishing Date: 
January 11, 2012

Forum Flash: December 2011

Forum Flash: Youth Jobs, Youth Engagement, OST

Publishing Date: 
December 19, 2011

Will Expanded Learning Time = Better Outcomes?

In the fall of 2011, the U.S. Department of Education established a waiver process to help states obtain additional flexibility in meeting No Child Left Behind Act performance standards. The "optional flexibility" choice, also known as Waiver 11, captured the attention of leaders in education agencies, schools and community-based organizations.

Publishing Date: 
December 15, 2011

Ready Partners: December 8, 2011

A story of achievement, sharing youth data, working training pays of

Publishing Date: 
December 8, 2011

First Look: New FERPA Regulations

The U.S. Department of Education just made it easier for agencies to share important data about young people - data that will help them improve services and supports. The Department's new guidance on FERPA makes significant strides in recognizing that a young person's development takes place both inside the classroom and out.

Publishing Date: 
December 2, 2011

Credentialed by 26, When Working Works: Employment & Postsecondary Success

Balancing work and school can hinder a young person’s success in higher education. However, the opposite can also be true: Good jobs facilitate student persistence and completion. So what does it look like when working works for students? That’s what we need to understand in order to transform employment opportunities into drivers of student success.

Publishing Date: 
November 29, 2011

Forum Flash: November 2011

Youth Organizing for Change, Creative Youth Programs and Lessons from Penn State

Publishing Date: 
November 17, 2011

Youth Organizing for Education Change

Should young people be considered actors in school change, or simply the recipients of changed schools? Growing evidence and our own experience in the field suggest the former. Youth-led efforts to create change in schools, districts and education policy are on the rise.
Publishing Date: 
November 15, 2011

Ready Partners: November 3, 2011

Publishing Date: 
November 11, 2011

Ready Partners: November 3, 2011

This weeks Ready Partners announces the launch of the Ready by 21 Leader Network and explores ways to involve your community in changing the outcomes for children and youth.

Publishing Date: 
November 11, 2011

Forum Flash: September 2011

Flexible Federal Funds, More Youth Data, Quality Assessment Pays Off

Publishing Date: 
September 23, 2011

Ready Partners: September 9, 2011

Ready Partners: Summit on families, intermediary groups speak up, jobs for young people

Publishing Date: 
September 9, 2011

Forum Flash: August 2011

Improving Program Quality, Reaching Educators, Gathering all Stakeholders

Publishing Date: 
August 25, 2011

Forum Flash: July 2011

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

Publishing Date: 
July 25, 2011

Ready Partners: July 7, 2011

Ready Partners: Corp. Voices' impact, new youth newsletter, new Promise grants

Publishing Date: 
July 8, 2011

Ready by 21 Case Study: Petaluma

How can a community change the quality, coordination and reach of its services, supports and engagement opportunities for children and youth? The Forum’s latest Ready by 21® case study shows how leaders in Petaluma, Calif., did just that, working with the Forum to use the Ready by 21 approach to build a communitywide coalition and develop new strategies that had impact.

Publishing Date: 
May 18, 2011

Align New Policies with Existing Efforts to Collaborate

The Forum has just launched its new Ready by 21 Policy Alignment Series, which will provide a set of strategies to ensure that new child and youth policies align with existing efforts in order to create a seamless system of supports.

Publishing Date: 
April 21, 2011

Ready by 21 Case Study: Northern Kentucky

This story shows how community leaders built an overarching leadership council to coordinate and improve youth services. Those leaders used Ready by 21® strategies to expand the council’s scope to include organizations and agencies covering the full range of youth supports, and to get them working toward the same goals.

Publishing Date: 
March 31, 2011

Ready by 21 Case Study: Nashville, TN

This is a story about how city leaders 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, established in conjunction with the Forum for Youth Investment’s Ready by 21® strategies, provide the framework for delivering Nashville’s youth services and supports.

Publishing Date: 
March 9, 2011

Ready by 21 Case Study: Austin, TX

This is a story about how a community built a state-of-the-art online tool to map and track youth services. Community leaders in Austin are using this tool to improve services and make them more accessible to families in need.

Publishing Date: 
March 2, 2011

Ready by 21 Case Study: Georgetown Divide

This is a story of a community bringing together a wide range of organizations to improve services and results for youth. Community leaders on the Georgetown Divide gathered a broad coalition to improve youth outcomes.

Publishing Date: 
February 23, 2011

Ready by 21 Case Study: Massachusetts

This is a story about how a statewide team created a shared set of desired outcomes for youth. These outcomes form the basis of an action plan for the state of Massachusetts, focused on translating the vision into reality. The Forum for Youth Investment – using the Ready by 21® set of strategies – guided the creation of the outcomes and action plan.

Publishing Date: 
February 17, 2011

Don’t Stop Collaborating – Just Stop Creating New Collaboratives

Many states and communities have multiple task forces, partnerships and councils working on overlapping youth issues, from bullying to pregnancy to dropouts. This policy brief calls attention to the problem of collaboration overload, and suggests ways to tackle it. Check out these tips for working collaboratively without creating redundancy.

Publishing Date: 
January 6, 2011

Credentialed by 26, High Expectations & Strong Supports Yield Postsecondary Success

High Expectations and Strong Supports Yield Postsecondary Success is the second installment in the Forum for Youth Investment’s Ready by 21, Credentialed by 26 series. This new brief demonstrates that it is in fact possible to insulate the education pipeline for older, vulnerable youth, by providing the supports necessary for their success.  

Publishing Date: 
December 14, 2010

Credentialed by 26, 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.

Publishing Date: 
November 22, 2010

Forum Flash - November 17, 2010

November is in full swing and so is the Forum's mission that all young people be Ready by 21 - ready for college, work and life. Take a look at how Ready by 21 is already making an impact in the southeast with presentations from the Southeastern Council of Foundations Annual Meeting in Mobile, Alabama.

Publishing Date: 
November 18, 2010

Ready by 21: Making Quality Count

he Ready by 21® Quality Counts initiative provided leaders and intermediaries from 12 cities and states around the country with a bold challenge – improving the quality and reach of out-of-school time programming.

Publishing Date: 
November 18, 2010

Ready by 21: Presentation at the Southeastern Council of Foundations Annual Meeting

SECF Logo

Nearly 50 grantmakers and foundation leaders from throughout the Southeast attended a workshop titled The Big Picture:
Using Small Strategic Grants to Increase Capacity for Change
,
at the Southeastern Council of Foundations Annual Meeting in Mobile, Alabama on November 11, 2010. 

Publishing Date: 
November 15, 2010

Ready by 21: Making Quality Count

Ready by 21: Making Quality Count

The Ready by 21® Quality Counts initiative provided leaders and intermediaries from 12 cities and states around the country with a bold challenge – improving the quality and reach of out-of-school time programming.

Publishing Date: 
November 8, 2010

Ready Thoughts: October 2010

In this issue, we focus on early childhood. We lead with an introduction from Nina Sazer O’Donnell, Vice President of Education for United Way Worldwide, the signature partner of Ready by 21. Then we review several recent publications on this topic. A few reports focus on bolder strategies to improve early childhood program quality and ensure development across multiple areas.

Publishing Date: 
October 29, 2010

Introduction to the Ready by 21 Strategy Webinar--October 26, 2010 3:00 EDT

Ready by 21 is a strategy 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.

Publishing Date: 
October 27, 2010

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.

Publishing Date: 
October 20, 2010

Ready by 21 Policy Alignment Series: Overview & Rationale

The Ready by 21 Policy Alignment Guide helps policymakers ensure that new child and youth policies align with existing efforts to create a seamless system of supports.

Publishing Date: 
October 19, 2010

Register for a Ready by 21 Institute, October 27-28, 2010 in Atlanta GA

Ready by 21 Logo

On October 27 & 28, the Forum for Youth Investment will offer a Ready by 21 Institute, hosted by the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta in Atlanta, GA.

Publishing Date: 
September 21, 2010

Forum Flash: September 17, 2010

In this month's issue of Forum Flash, take advantage of several Ready by 21 trainings, including two free webinars and a two-day institute in Atlanta, Georgia. Also, see an inspiring video from a Ready by 21 community, Georgetown Divide in California, on their efforts and progress in empowering staff, improving practice and creating real change for youth.

Publishing Date: 
September 17, 2010

Ready by 21 Policy Coalition Members Provide Input to Secretary of Education

Ready by 21 Policy Coalition Logo

Corporate Voices for Working Families, the Forum for Youth Investment, the Search Institute and the National Collaboration for Youth responded to an invitation from the Secretary of Education to provide input into the Secretary’s Priorities for Discretionary Grant Programs.

Publishing Date: 
September 15, 2010

Ready Thoughts: August 2010

In this issue, we lead with a new analysis, by the Forum for Youth Investment, of several newly released reports on child well-being. The paper outlines how tools such as the Ready by 21 Developmental Dashboard can help leaders be effective. The paper includes commentary on well-being report cards can measure results across outcome areas and ages.

Publishing Date: 
September 13, 2010

Tracking Child & Youth Well-being

Tracking Child & Youth Well-Being is a new analysis by the Forum of several newly released reports on child and youth well-being. The paper outlines how tools such as the Ready by 21 Developmental Dashboard can help leaders be effective.

Publishing Date: 
September 13, 2010

Ready by 21 Webinar--Dashboards--Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

All communities need a way to consider their broad goals for children and youth, as well as the specific areas of focus or need. Dashboards are a handy, user-friendly tool that can assist leaders with this difficult task. Come learn more about specific examples and ways to apply this tool to your work to improve the outcomes for children and youth.

Publishing Date: 
September 13, 2010

Empowering Staff, Improving Quality

Embracing YPQA Video Still

This inspiring 12-minute video documents how the Georgetown Divide, a small community in the Sierra foothills of Northern California has embraced a positive youth development approach across the settings where youth spend time and has anchored that commitment through widespread use of the Youth Program Quality Assessment.

Publishing Date: 
September 8, 2010

Forum Flash: August 11, 2010

In this edition of Forum Flash, read about the Forum's latest work in education and youth policy. Karen Pittman will be a featured panelist at a free event in Washington, DC presenting findings from Gallup and Phi Delta Kappa on the state of education.

Publishing Date: 
August 11, 2010

Ready by 21 Webinar--Program Landscape Mapping--Thursday, August 26, 3:00 PM EDT

Program landscape mapping is a process that enables community members, decision makers and stakeholders to identify or inventory existing youth services and organizations.

Publishing Date: 
August 10, 2010

Youth Voice: a Topic of Discussion at the White House

The Forum’s America's Youth Councils Network is working with a coalition of national organizations to advocate for the creation of a National Youth Council. On June 30th, coalition members had a West Wing sit-down with Tina Tchen, Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, to discuss their vision for ways to incorporate youth voice into federal policymaking.

Publishing Date: 
August 9, 2010

Introducing SparkAction: For Children. For Youth. For Change.

SparkAction Logo: For children. For youth. For change.

SparkAction officially launched in June! The Forum is proud to be managing this collaborative effort for and by the child and youth field to mobilize a large, well-informed constituency to spark action for change.

Publishing Date: 
August 9, 2010

Forum Flash: July 8, 2010

In this issue of Forum Flash, read Karen's latest Youth Today column on why research must be used better – not just saved in our inboxes for later reading. Also, check out a guide that the Forum jointly developed with the William T.

Publishing Date: 
July 8, 2010

Pay It Forward: Guidance for Mentoring Junior Scholars

Most scholars are expected to mentor junior colleagues, but they are provided few supports and resources to become strong mentors. Pay It Forward: Guidance for Mentoring Junior Scholars was jointly developed by the Forum for Youth Investment and the William T. Grant Foundation to add to the resources available to scholars who are mentoring others.

Publishing Date: 
June 29, 2010

Ready Thoughts: June 2010

Each issue of READY PICKS focuses on one or more of “the 4 Bs” – the capacities leaders need to strengthen to do business differently, and offers our best picks of research, tools and examples selected from the work of Ready by 21 Partners, Ready by 21 places and others committed to big picture change.

Publishing Date: 
June 23, 2010

The Ready by 21 Quality Improvement & Asset Building (Q&A) Challenge

An Opportunity for Three Southeast Communities to Take a Big Picture Approach to Tracking Quality in OST Programs

Publishing Date: 
May 27, 2010

The Forum Comments on "No Child Left Behind"

Upon the request of the Senate HELP Committee, the Forum has prepared detailed legislative comments on how to address the existing "No Child Left Behind" legislation (now known commonly as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or ESEA) using a whole child approach.

Publishing Date: 
May 18, 2010

Ready by 21 Webinar- Defining Readiness- June 29, 4:00-5:00 pm EDT

This webinar will provide a basic overview of definitions of readiness, research on the number and percentages of youth who are 'ready', connections between individual indicators and overall readiness, and research on the types of supports youth need in order to be ready.

Publishing Date: 
May 12, 2010

Ready by 21 Webinar- Introduction to the Ready by 21 Strategy- July 21- 3:00-4:00 pm EDT

Ready by 21 is a strategy 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.

Publishing Date: 
May 12, 2010

Youth Today: Out of the Inbox and Into the Streets

May 2010
By Karen Pittman

Column time: I reached for the “recent research” inbox and pulled out five studies – three national surveys, two major evaluations – and started to read, looking for common themes. Good stuff.

Publishing Date: 
May 7, 2010

Ready Thoughts: May 2010

Each issue of READY PICKS focuses on one or more of “the 4 Bs”: broader partnerships, bigger goals, better data and bolder strategies – the capacities leaders need to strengthen to do business differently, and offers our best picks of research, tools and examples selected from the work of Ready by 21 Partners, Ready by 21 places and others committed to big picture change.

Publishing Date: 
May 6, 2010

Ready by 21 and the Southeast Challenge

All young people need to be prepared to succeed in college, work and life. But in our country, only four out of ten are ready for a productive adulthood, and two in ten are in serious trouble.

Publishing Date: 
April 27, 2010

Forum Flash: April 27, 2010

In this issue of Forum Flash, be sure to check out videos on the work of Children's Cabinets and Karen's testimony at the Senate HELP Committee on the whole child and ESEA Reauthorization.

Publishing Date: 
April 27, 2010

Ready Picks, March 2010

Each issue of READY PICKS focuses on one or more of “the 4 Bs”: broader partnerships, bigger goals, better data and bolder strategies – the capacities leaders need to strengthen to do business differently, and offers our best picks of research, tools and examples selected from the work of Ready by 21 Partners, Ready by 21 places and others committed to big picture change.

Publishing Date: 
March 31, 2010

The Children's Cabinets Network Video

In this video, hear from Elizabeth Gaines, policy director at the Forum for Youth Investment (The Forum), as well as Children's Cabinet Network members from Tennessee, Maine, and Ohio. You will learn about the Children's Cabinet Network and the role of the Ready by 21 approach.

Publishing Date: 
March 22, 2010

Forum Flash: March 10, 2010

In this edition of Forum Flash, read about the startling unemployment rates of black young men in Karen Pittman's Youth Today column, get a quick overview of the Ready by 21 Approach in "Bring Precision to Your Passion", hear a recording of the latest Ready by 21 webinar and more.

Publishing Date: 
March 10, 2010

Youth Today: They Won’t Stay Outside Forever: Black Young Men and Unemployment

On Saturday, Jan. 30, Washington, D.C., got its second snowstorm in six weeks. Not nearly as big as the first (only 4 to 5 inches) – but big enough that school openings were delayed the next Monday.

Publishing Date: 
March 8, 2010

Bring Precision to Your Passion: A Quick Overview of the Ready by 21 Approach to Data-Driven Decision-Making

Every community and state has dedicated leaders who have taken on the critical task of bringing diverse people and disparate efforts together in order to transform their community or state into a wonderful place to grow up.

Publishing Date: 
February 24, 2010

Out-of-School Time Policy Commentary #16: Shining a Light on Supervision: Lessons from the Beacons

This commentary takes readers inside the world of the Beacons, to understand their approach to supervision. In it, we ask and answer the questions: What does good supervision of youth work professionals look like? How can we strengthen supervision in ways that improve practice and reduce turnover?

Publishing Date: 
February 17, 2010

Strengthening the Youth Development/After-School Workforce

Strengthening the Youth Development/After-School Workforce

Despite major advancements in the field, staffing – everything from recruitment, retention, supervision, to performance – remains a major challenge. There is a need to reexamine currently held assumptions about what it will take to build a strong, stable, committed workforce. What incentives? What opportunities? What requirements? For whom? In what combination?

Publishing Date: 
February 16, 2010

Forum Flash: February 9, 2010

This month in Forum Flash, read about Karen's experience with seemingly prepared high school seniors and think about the true meaning of "readiness," register for the next Ready by 21 webinar and read about the Forum's efforts to support the youth development field.

Publishing Date: 
February 9, 2010

Ready by 21 Webinar- Introduction to the Ready by 21 Challenge- February 2010

Ready by 21 isn’t a program or a campaign or even an initiative. It is a challenge to all who care about children and youth to think differently – to learn a different way to approach all of the tasks associated with trying to manage, make or measure change at any level from the classroom to the capitol – so that they can act differently.

Publishing Date: 
January 25, 2010

Ready by 21 Webinar- Bringing Precision to Your Passion: Ready by 21 Data Integration- Tuesday, January 19, 2010 1:00-2:00 PM EST

This session examined tools that can assist leaders answer questions that need to be asked. Larry Pasti, Director of Field Services for the Forum for Youth Investment, presented on data tools and methodologies to ask and respond to more complex questions about who and where children are; how well they are doing; what they are participating in; and how these critical supports are, in turn, being

Publishing Date: 
December 21, 2009

Youth Today: Mandatory Free Choice Learning

The Institute for Learning Innovation defines free choice learning as “learning that fulfills the lifelong human quest for knowledge, understanding and personal fulfillment.” Heady words.

Publishing Date: 
December 11, 2009

Forum Flash: December 4, 2009

This month in Forum Flash, we have announced our next webinar on the Ready by 21 Tool Kit - so be sure to save the date. Also, find out more about the Ready by 21 Leadership Network, which will let leaders take full advantage of the Ready by 21 Approach and Partnership.

Publishing Date: 
December 4, 2009

Ready by 21 Webinar-The Ready by 21 Tool Kit- December 17, 2:00-3:00 pm EDT

This session explored a range of tools from Ready by 21 partners that can help answer key questions. Participants learned to ask and answer more complex questions about who and where children are; how well they are doing; what they are participating in; and how these critical supports are, in turn, being viewed and supported.

Publishing Date: 
November 23, 2009

The Data Quality Campaign and Forum for Youth Investment Release Co-Authored Brief, Linking Data across Agencies: States That Are Making It Work

As a condition for receiving State Fiscal Stabilization Funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, every governor and chief state school officer has agreed to develop statewide longitudinal data systems that can follow individual students from early learning through K-12 to postsecondary education and into the workforce.  This publication provides an in-depth look at the collaborat

Publishing Date: 
November 16, 2009

Ready by 21 Webinar- Assessing and Improving Youth Program Quality- November 12, 3:00-4:00 pm

As the youth development and out-of-school time fields expand and mature, practitioners, policy makers and researchers are increasingly rallying around the importance of assessing and improving program quality. A range of tools is now available to support these efforts.

Publishing Date: 
October 16, 2009

Forum Flash: October 7, 2009

In this edition of Forum Flash, get the details on the Search Institute's Healthy Communities, Healthy Youth 2009 Conference and why the Ready by 21 National Partnership is a lead sponsor.

Publishing Date: 
October 7, 2009

Youth Today: One More Time: Don’t Pit Preschoolers Against Teens

States are struggling. Children’s lives, too often, are truly in the balance as states and localities decide where to make cuts, often sacrificing long-term investments to achieve short-term cost savings. And a new National League of Cities report, City Fiscal Conditions 2009, suggests that the situation will worsen over the next two years.

Publishing Date: 
October 6, 2009

Out-of-School Time Policy Commentary #15: Raising the Bar: Quality Improvement Systems for Youth Programs

OSTPC 15

In this commentary, we compile lessons learned about building quality improvement systems for OST programs, based on emerging research and increasing activity in the field. We also take readers to two places – the state of Michigan and the city of Chicago – where implementation of this model is underway with promising results.

Publishing Date: 
August 26, 2009

Forum Flash: July 23, 2009

We've got exciting news this month! We're proud to announce our Ready by 21 Video and Brochure – these are great resources that lay out in a simple way the Ready by 21 Challenge, Approach and Partnership. In the video, hear the story of leaders in Richmond using Ready by 21 to improve their community.

Publishing Date: 
July 23, 2009

Ready by 21 Webinar: Aligning Policies and Funding- Summary and Resources

On August 12, the Forum for Youth Investment hosted a webinar on the topic of ‘Aligning Policies and Funding’. The session, part of the Ready by 21 Webinar Series, featured presenters from Austin, TX and the Finance Project, a member of the Ready by 21 National Partnership.

Publishing Date: 
July 14, 2009

Ready by 21 Webinar- Advocacy and Communications- Summary and Resources

Effective leadership for changing the odds for children and youth requires motivating a number of distinct groups to act. It is essential for leaders to develop an aligned and focused advocacy and communications strategy that articulates and builds demand for changing the odds for children and youth.

Publishing Date: 
June 30, 2009

Webinar: Introduction to the Ready by 21 Challenge - Summary and Resources

Ready by 21 isn’t a program or a campaign or even an initiative. It is a challenge to all who care about children and youth to think differently – to learn a different way to approach all of the tasks associated with trying to manage, make or measure change at any level from the classroom to the capitol – so that they can act differently.

Publishing Date: 
June 3, 2009

Youth Today: Taking Risks for Transition-Age Youth

On any given day, scores of young people with limited individual and social capital are simultaneously struggling to exit some systems and enter others: foster care, residential treatment centers, higher education, mental health programs, gainful employment.

Publishing Date: 
June 2, 2009

Forum Flash: May 13, 2009

In this month's Forum Flash, there are lots of resources and updates on how to measure the state of your state's or community's child and youth programs.

Publishing Date: 
May 14, 2009

Ready by 21 Webinar: Landscape Mapping - Summary and Resources

Landscape mapping is a process that enables community members, decision makers and stakeholders to identify or inventory existing youth services and organizations. The approach can help move communities and states to examine their current assets, help to create connections, improve efficiency in the use of limited resources and assist community members to know what is available to them.

Publishing Date: 
May 4, 2009

The Forum and nFocus Software Partner to Bring Improved Accountability to Youth Development

The Ready by 21® Challenge calls on states and communities to change the odds for children and youth by changing the way they do business

Publishing Date: 
April 15, 2009

Out of School Time Policy Commentary #14: "After School Grows Up: Helping Teens Prepare for the Future"

This commentary takes readers on a cross-country tour of after-school innovation – from northern and southern California to Chicago, New York and New Hampshire. In On the Ground we describe two very different school-based models in California.

Publishing Date: 
April 2, 2009

Forum Flash: March 23, 2009

In Karen Pittman's Youth Today column, she reflects on the election that successfully mobilized young people and diverse citizens alike. Karen also worked with other child and youth leaders at the Shaping America's Youth IV Forum that prepared recommendations for President Obama. Also, check out the opening for a Program Manager at the David P.

Publishing Date: 
March 24, 2009

Ready by 21 Webinar: Using a Results Based Framework for Child & Youth Indicators

Considering the heightened focus on data-driven decision making, this webinar will explore the latest developments in tracking youth indicators and outcomes. In this Ready by 21 Webinar, best practice examples from states will be explored, highlighting new and proven ways to develop a balanced range of both positive and negative youth indicators.

Publishing Date: 
March 19, 2009

Youth Today: a "5 Star" President Who Happens to be Bi-Racial

On January 20, I joined millions of Americans and millions more around the world to watch the inauguration of our 44th president. Bad knees kept me out of the crowd, but I dutifully taped the day for family and friends who went out to be counted. I beamed at the image of the soon-to-be president, head back, eyes closed, breathing in the wonderful music played by Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman.

Publishing Date: 
March 2, 2009

Systems Building Challenges for Afterschool Initiatives Webinar

Nicole Yohalem will discuss the relationship between outcomes and measures of quality and describe characteristics of quality assessment and improvement systems in an upcoming Afterschool Investments webinar: Systems Building Challenges for Afterschool Initiatives: Developing Common Measures of Quality, Thursday, February 19 from 1:00 pm–2:30 pm EST.

Publishing Date: 
February 6, 2009

The Impact of Meaningful Youth Engagement Conference Call

Nicole Yohalem will be a featured speaker on a conference call hosted by Grantmakers for Children, Youth, and Families, The Forum for Youth Investment, and the University of Wisconsin Center for Nonprofits.

Publishing Date: 
February 4, 2009

Forum Flash: February 3, 2009

During these tough times, you need the right tools to figure out what's working.

Publishing Date: 
February 3, 2009

The Role of Legislators in Ready by 21

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the Forum held an interactive webinar on February 20 that highlighted the efforts of state legislators who, with their colleagues across the aisle, are prioritizing the coordination of services, developing a common set of outcomes and collaborating to implement plans that foster the well-being of youth.

Publishing Date: 
February 2, 2009

Federal Programs & Youth Workers: Opportunities to Strengthen Our Workforce

Policymakers increasingly view youth development and after-school programs as solutions to a host of problems confronting youth, communities and our country overall. Yet, funds for these programs as a whole are scarce and when resources are devoted to training or workforce development, they appear to be included as afterthoughts or minor priorities.

Publishing Date: 
January 30, 2009

Measuring Youth Program Quality: A Guide to Assessment Tools, 2nd Edition

Program quality assessment and improvement continue to be central themes in the after-school and youth development fields. In March 2007 we released the first edition of this report comparing the purpose, history, structure, methodology, content and technical properties of different program observation tools.

Publishing Date: 
January 12, 2009

Forum Flash: December 29, 2008

As the year comes to a end, several projects at the Forum are reaching major milestones. The Ready by 21 Quality Counts sites celebrated the end of the first year and planned ahead to the second and final year of the initiative.

Publishing Date: 
December 29, 2008

Webinar: Ready By 21 Big Picture Messages & Frameworks – January 15

There are numerous child and youth development frameworks being used by youth serving organizations and government entities. A common vision and framework allow for better mission and resource alignment, more precise measurement of progress and provide a useful tool for communicating goals and strategies to the public, families and youth, funders, policy makers and community stakeholders.

Publishing Date: 
December 29, 2008

Letter Calling for White House Office on Children & Youth

The Forum and our partners have been working hard behind the scenes to create a White House Office on Children and Youth.

Publishing Date: 
December 19, 2008

Youth Today: Ready for Life: Yes, That Means College

By Karen Pittman, December 2008

The core belief here at the Forum for Youth Investment – that all young people should be Ready by 21 – ready for college, work and life – often provokes public criticism.  The exchanges typically go like this:

“Not every young person needs to go to college,” calls out one person from an audience. True, I say, but all should be ready to.

Publishing Date: 
December 1, 2008

Webinar: Introduction to the Ready by 21 Challenge – November 19

Ready by 21 isn’t a program or a campaign or even an initiative. It is a challenge to all who care about children and youth to think differently – to learn a different way to approach all of the tasks associated with trying to manage, make or measure change at any level from the classroom to the capitol – so that they can act differently.

Publishing Date: 
November 22, 2008

Forum Flash: November 13, 2008

Change is coming. Not just to the White House, but to Ready by 21 communities across the country. Stay tuned for exciting updates on our Ready by 21 rollout plans in the next issue of Forum Flash. Also check out our 3 latest publications, a Michigan Dropout Summit and more!

Publishing Date: 
November 13, 2008

Youth-Adult Partnerships in Public Action

The Forum partnered with the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Nonprofits to publish Youth-Adult Partnerships in Public Action: Principles, Organizational Culture and Outcomes.

Publishing Date: 
November 6, 2008

Out-of-School Time Policy Commentary #13: "Speaking in One Voice"

This commentary highlights the work of the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems, a collaborative of mature, city and county-wide nonprofit OST intermediaries, to develop and adopt common youth-, program- and system-level measures that are easy and cost-effective for local systems to implement.

Publishing Date: 
November 3, 2008

Creating Lasting Solutions for Success in Louisville

Across the country, too few youth leave high school ready for success. Community statistics and conditions vary, but there is no community across the country that is doing well enough by its children and youth. There is a need to do more. More to the point, there is a need to do better – to make bolder commitments, to create broader ownership and partnerships, to ensure greater returns on public and private investments.

The Forum for Youth Investment convened a group of key stakeholders in Louisville, KY at the Neighborhood House in an effort to assist these community and state leaders with aligning their youth efforts into a big picture framework.

Publishing Date: 
September 18, 2008

What Works for Youth Workers? Next Gen's "Lessons Learned"

In 2007, the Next Generation Youth Work Coalition launched the Clear Policies for Career Pathways project to identify and build upon efforts underway around the country to establish comprehensive workforce development systems for the youth work field.

Publishing Date: 
August 27, 2008

Forum Flash: August 14, 2008

The Forum assembled Children's Cabinets and Youth Councils in New Orleans and gave these groups a chance to interact with each other. Also this month, the latest Next Generation Youth Work Coalition Bulletin came out with updates on the work being done to support communications and development for youth workers.

Publishing Date: 
August 14, 2008

Forum Flash: July 9, 2008

The Forum is proud to revive the Out-of-School Time Policy Commentary; the first issue is focused on youth work practice and reivews studies that our broadening our knowledge. Karen Pittman's Youth Today column looks at what young people need to get through school rather than dropping out.

Publishing Date: 
July 9, 2008

Youth Today: Wanted: Youth Work Principles in Schools

By Karen Pittman, July 2008

Seven students recently joined me for breakfast in a windowless conference room in Des Moines to talk about “the high school dropout crisis.” They were experts: Five had dropped out. Another had come very close.

Publishing Date: 
July 1, 2008

Out-of-School Time Policy Commentary #12: Unpacking Youth Work Practice

The Forum's OST Policy Commentary series is back! In this issue we discuss the implications of recent research led by Bart Hirsch, Reed Larson and Charles Smith. Each study helps deepen our understanding of youth work practice and can inform policy strategies aimed at developing a strong, stable, committed and prepared OST workforce.

Publishing Date: 
June 26, 2008

Dropout Prevention Summit Planning Guide

The America’s Promise Alliance is supporting 50 state and at least 50 city Dropout Prevention Summits to be held by 2010. The purposes of the Dropout Prevention Summits are many, but the primary intention is to increase public awareness of the dropout and college-readiness crisis.

Publishing Date: 
May 22, 2008

United Way of America's Community Leaders Conference

On May 15, Karen Pittman moderated a panel – Preparing Youth for Success in a Global Economy – at the Community Leaders Conference hosted by United Way of America in Baltimore. Karen spoke about the Ready by 21 framework data on youth readiness that can be applied to work supporting youth.

Publishing Date: 
May 21, 2008

Aligning Illinois DHS and Ready by 21 Frameworks

Forum staff members, Merita Irby and Karen Finn traveled to Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, May 19 and 20, where they faciliated trainings with leaders from the Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Community Health and Prevention.

Publishing Date: 
May 21, 2008

Iowa Dropout Prevention Summit

As part of the Forum's commitment to support Quality Counts sites, the Forum, along with Iowa Collaboration for Youth Development, co-sponsored Governor Culver's dropout prevention summit aimed at creating urgency and developing action plans to respond to the dropout crisis of minority youth in 15 Iowa communities. Karen Pittman traveled to Des Moines on May 7

Publishing Date: 
May 13, 2008

Mason City Kicks Off Quality Counts Initiative with Adolescent Youth Workers Summit

On May 8, Karen Pittman traveled to Mason City, Iowa where she delivered the keynote at the first annual Adolescent Youth Workers Summit that kicked off Mason City's participation in the Ready by 21 Quality Counts Initiative. There, Karen spoke to over 100 youth work practitioners and community leaders about the importance of improving the quality and reach of youth programs.

Publishing Date: 
May 13, 2008

Youth Today: Precision Engineering

By Karen Pittman, May 2008

Creating sound bites that are not only memorable but communicate a message is a passion of mine. Every now and then I hit one out of the park. “Problem-free isn’t fully prepared” is still in use after more than 15 years. I think “bringing precision to our passion” may be the next one to stick.

Publishing Date: 
May 8, 2008

READY BY 21® Video: National Launch Panel Discussion

The six partners who in 2007 made formal commitments to work with the Forum to advance the Ready by 21 Challenge represent the education, government, nonprofit, business and community philanthropy sectors. Below are featured clips from the partner panel discussion at the National Launch in Washington, DC.

Publishing Date: 
April 28, 2008

READY BY 21® Video: National Launch Press Conference

Below are featured clips from the press conference announcing the national launch of the Ready by 21 Challenge, aimed at helping state and local leaders change the odds for youth by changing the way they do business.

Publishing Date: 
April 28, 2008

Introduction to the Ready by 21 Challenge Webinar

Ready by 21 isn't a program or a campaign or even an initiative. It is a challenge to all who care about children and youth to learn a different approach to the tasks associated with trying to manage, make or measure change at any level from the classroom to the capitol.

Publishing Date: 
April 17, 2008

The Forum's 10th Anniversary Brochure

After a decade of moving ideas to impact, the Forum for Youth Investment continues to forge innovative ideas, strategies and partnerships to strengthen solutions for young people and those who care about them. Learn more about the Forum's beginnings and work in the 10th Anniversary Organizational Brochure.

Publishing Date: 
February 27, 2008

Ready By 21® National Partner Profiles and Commitments

The six partners who in 2007 made formal commitments to work with the Forum to advance the Ready by 21 Challenge represent the education, government, nonprofit, business and community philanthropy sectors. Each was chosen because they had pledged to do business differently and sought out the Forum to help in some way.

Publishing Date: 
February 27, 2008

Ready by 21 National Launch Press Release

The Forum for Youth Investment issues Ready by 21® Challenge to change the odds for youth by changing the way we do business.

Former Congressman Dick Gephardt and former Governor Tom Ridge join the Forum and national partners to move the Ready by 21 Challenge across the country – reaching communities in all 50 states over the next 5 years.

Publishing Date: 
February 27, 2008

Ready by 21 FAQ

Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Ready by 21 and the Ready by 21 Challenge.

Publishing Date: 
February 26, 2008

Media Advisory: National Launch of Ready by 21 Initiative: Changing the Odds for Children and Youth

Washington DC -- On February 27th, Former Congressman Dick Gephardt, Former Governor Tom Ridge and United Way of America President Brian Gallagher will join Forum for Youth Investment co-founders Karen Pittman and Merita Irby to kick-off the national phase of the Forum’s Ready by 21™ Challenge.   The Ready by 21™ Challenge calls on states and c

Publishing Date: 
February 15, 2008

Youth Today: Creativity, Sprituality and Youth Work: Claiming the Territory

By Karen Pittman, December 2007

Embedded in the pages of the October Youth Today were two pieces that are worth revisiting so that they can be connected. Consider this a low-budget instant replay with comments.

The first piece was Peter Benson’s column, “Youth Development and the Creative Life,” in which he laments the continued decline of investment in the arts and offers data that suggest that the most common source of “spark” for U.S. teens—“the interest or talent from which we derive energy”—is the creative arts. According to Benson’s research, “music, art, dance and writing are mentioned twice as often as sports” by both boys and girls.

Publishing Date: 
December 12, 2007

Youth Ready by 21: A Five-Year Action Agenda for Maryland

In Maryland, there are many agencies, organizations, task forces and coalitions focused on various pieces of the puzzle needed to ensure that all youth are ready for adulthood. While aiming for similar ultimate goals, these groups are often working in parallel and occasionally at cross purposes due to funding streams and grant restrictions.

Publishing Date: 
October 10, 2007

Bartholomew County, IN Council for Youth Development Overview

The Council for Youth Development is a local coalition, supported by a successful, nationally-recognized program.  The Council includes our school systems, youth-serving agencies, government, United Way and scores of agencies dedicated to helping prepare our children to be healthy, successful members of society.

Publishing Date: 
August 8, 2007

Core Principles for Engaging Young People in Community Change

Engaging young people as partners in community change is a compelling idea, but translating that idea into effective practice requires focused attention to a range issues. The principles described in this paper emerged from the commingling of research and practice that occurred when the Forum for Youth Investment merged with Community IMPACT! USA.

Publishing Date: 
July 1, 2007

Iowa's Youth Development Strategic Plan 2007-2010

Iowa is working through the Iowa Collaboration for Youth Development and Iowa’s Promise to ensure that all Iowa youth have the opportunity to be successful…in school, in a career, and in life. Iowa’s vision is for All Iowa Youth to be Safe, Healthy, Successful and Prepared for Adulthood.

Publishing Date: 
June 6, 2007

Core Assumptions About Change

This two-pager summarizes the core assumptions that philanthropists, planners and policy makers consciously or unconsciously take into account when making decisions about where to focus their efforts to bring about change.

Publishing Date: 
December 15, 2006

Change Makers in Action: Georgetown Divide (Black Oak Mine)

Part of the Ready by 21® Change Makers in Action Series, this case study describes the work done by the Georgetown Divide Ready by 21 Coalition.

Publishing Date: 
August 15, 2006

Indiana: Our Children, Our Opportunity, Our Future: Council for Youth Development Report to the Community 2006-2007

The Council for Youth Development is the third generation of community work in Bartholomew County, Indiana, focusing on children and youth. The Council has as its ultimate goal every child in the county being Ready by 21™ – ready for learning, ready for work, ready for life.

Publishing Date: 
July 2, 2006

President's Remarks: Moving Ideas to Impact to Change the Odds for Youth - Charting the Forum's Course to 2010

Reflecting on her life as a teen growing up in the low-income neighborhoods of Washington, DC, Karen Pittman spells out why she is determined to have the Forum meet its goal of challenging national partners and state and local change makers to ensure that every young person is Ready by 21®.

Publishing Date: 
July 13, 2005