August 26th marks an important day for the history of the Forum for Youth Investment.  The date marks David Weikart’s birthday.  Dave passed in 2003. Were he still with us, he would be 88 today.  The Forum’s Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality was named after Dave, and builds on his life’s work.

The story of Dave Weikart, High/Scope Camp, and the High Scope Educational Research Foundation is intertwined with the story of the Forum and the Weikart Center. This page is a timeline of Dave’s impact on the Forum and the youth-serving field.

We invite you to honor Dave by learning a bit more about his life and legacy, and by reflecting on how his ideas about ‘active learning’ continue to permeate our work to change the odds for children and youth.

Click to learn more about each phase:

From Inspiration to Inaugural High/Scope Project Launch: 1958-1962

1958

1958

Weikart is inspired by a visit to Camp Rising Sun, a camp run on the principles of self-governance, open-ended instruction, cooperative learning, and international understanding. Weikart accepts the camp directorship, returning several summers while completing a Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Michigan, where he forms his ideas around active learning as an approach for engaging the full social and intellectual potential of young people.

1962

1962

Weikart takes a position as psychologist for the Ypsilanti School District, and partners with district administrators to launch the Perry Preschool Project and plan the High/ Scope Camp in response to the needs of high-potential, disadvantaged youth.

1963

1963

High/Scope Camp opens for its first summer, based on an active learning framework.  A partnership forms with the Ypsilanti School District to recruit high-potential youth, aged 12 – 17 to attend the eight week camp. The summer camp becomes a laboratory for testing key ideas.

From Key Ideas to Operating Foundation: High/Scope Foundation Launched: 1963-1974

1963

1963

Dave and Phyllis Weikart develop the High/Scope camp as a model program, with core elements that are followed with high fidelity. The first Perry Preschool study concludes in 1967.

1970

1970

Dave establishes the High/Scope Foundation to provide a laboratory for testing ideas and validating the model approach. The model preschool and first preschool curriculum are launched.

A young Oberlin student, Karen Johnson (Pittman), joins the summer staff for 3 summers. She rethinks her goal to become a classroom teacher.

1973

1973

The High/Scope Foundation hosts its first international conference.

1974

The High/Scope Foundation takes over operation of the camp.

 

Evolution of Key Ideas: From High/Scope Camp to the Institute for IDEAS (1979-1995)

1979

High/Scope and the COOR Intermediate School District in rural Northern MI partner to provide a solid educational experience to high potential, disadvantaged youth. A one-month program based on the original camp model program is established.

1989

1989

High/Scope Camp is rebranded the Institute for IDEAS (Initiative, Diversity, Expectations, Achievement, Service) under the direction of Dave Bruno as the one-month program partnership expands to include students from Detroit Public Schools.

1995

The Institute for IDEAS receives national recognition through the US DOE’s Program Effectiveness Panel as an effective, exemplary educational program, one of the few non-school based programs to receive such certification.

A second 0ne-month program is established, attracting international students and students from youth-serving programs that were participating in newly designed trainings for youth workers based on the High/Scope approach.

Dave Weikart runs the last session of the original summer camp, now a two-week program, ending a nearly 50-year career in camping.

Dissemination of Methods: Development of Youth Worker Training: 1995-2001

1995

Under John Weiss’ leadership, the Adolescent Division begins work with community-based programs and schools, responding to a need for concrete training on how to deliver high-quality programming to youth.

1996

1996

Learning Comes to Life is published in 1996, documenting the methods developed over three decades at the IDEAS “laboratory.” Core ideas informing the youth work methods training are documented in this book.

1997

High/Scope partners with the Lakewood Educational Alternative Program (LEAP) in Michigan to integrate elements of the approach in an alternative school setting.

2001

2001

High/Scope expands partnership with community-based programs, establishing the Youth-Adult Training Institute to train adults and youth together based on methods developed in the IDEAS program.

The Adolescent Division pilots a TOT model with youth program managers.

 

A National Thought Leader Team Emerges: 1984-1995

1984

1984

Karen Pittman heads up the prevention work at the Children’s Defense Fund. While there, Karen coins the phrase “problem-free isn’t fully prepared,” connecting prevention to positive developmental supports.

1987

Karen begins a regular column in Youth Today, using the vehicle to communicate active learning to the broader field.

1990

Karen co-founds the Center for Youth Development and Policy Research with Michele Cahill at the Academy for Educational Development.

1993

Funded by the Wallace Foundation, the Center develops Stronger Staff/Stronger Youth and creates the first national network of intermediaries.

Karen serves on the Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, which issued the report A Matter of Time.

1994

1994

Advancing Youth Development curriculum is launched. Merita Irby joins Karen at the Center for Youth Development and Policy Research after co-authoring Urban Sanctuaries. Merita is recommended by Fellow Carnegie Council member Milbrey McLaughlin.

1995

Karen and Merita leave AED to head up the President’s Crime Prevention Council, chaired by Al Gore. The council publishes 50 Ways to Promote Youth Development, surveying federal programs.

Launching the Forum for Youth Investment: 1995-2002

1995

Karen and Merita leave the Crime Prevention Council, joining the International Youth Foundation to help advance the youth development approach in nine partner countries and with over 150 exemplary youth programs across the globe.

1996

Karen joins Rick Little in taking a leave of absence to launch the America’s Promise Alliance.

1998

1998

Having reestablished roots in the US, Karen and Merita create IYF-US which is then renamed the Forum for Youth Investment.

1999

The Forum establishes the International Learning Group on Youth and Community Development.

2001

The Forum publishes key documents that lay out ideas such as “Problem free isn’t fully prepared” and “Fully prepared isn’t fully engaged.” Publications include Preventing Problems, Promoting Development, and Encouraging Engagement and Reflections on a Decade of Promoting Youth Development.

2002

The Forum spins off from the International Youth Foundation, becoming a separate nonprofit and setting up its DC office at the Cady-Lee House.

Assessing Program Quality: Developing the YPQA: 1999-2005

1999

1999

Under John Weiss, the Adolescent Division prototypes the YPQA observational instrument and begins using it in youth worker trainings and in observations of community-based programs. Ann Epstein, lead developer for the Preschool PQA, assists in its development.

2002

2002

The High/Scope Foundation receives funding from the William T. Grant Foundation to validate the Youth Program Quality Assessment.

Karen Pittman joins the board of High/Scope, helping to connect the evolving knowledge assets of the Adolescent Division work to a national audience.

2005

At the conclusion of a three-year validation study, the YPQA is published and widely disseminated.

Honoring a Legacy: Establishing the Weikart Center: 2007-2010

2007

The Forum invites High/Scope’s adolescent division  to  partner on the Robert Wood Johnson-funded  Quality Counts initiative, presenting an opportunity to routinize methods training and assessment and scale the intervention. The initiative partners with 7 cities and 5 states.

High/Scope and the Forum form a joint venture to scale High Scope’s  adolescent-focused assets  by leveraging the Forum’s strategic leadership and national connections.

2008

2008

The joint venture – The David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality – is publicly launched.  Charles Smith is named as  its inaugural director and all staff are housed at the Forum.

2010

2010

High/Scope’s adolescent-focused assets are transferred to the Forum for Youth Investment and the David P. Weikart Center becomes a division of the Forum for Youth Investment.

The YPQI: Establishing a National Reputation: 2006-2019

2006

The Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI) study is launched, the first experimental investigation of a data-driven, continuous improvement approach. The study is implemented in 87 afterschool sites.

2007

The Forum’s Ready by 21 Quality Counts initiative, a national effort to develop quality assurance and evaluations of evidence-based programs, provides an opportunity to routinize the methods and assessment processes. The initiative partners with seven cities and five states.

2012

The YPQI  study is published. The Weikart Center stands on ten years of evidence since the original YPQA validation study, emerging as a national leader in youth program quality.

2019

The Weikart Center is the established leader in program quality with several national partners.  The Weikart Center’s reach is in 140 systems, 4800 sites, and ~31,000 staff.

Ready by 21 Ideas & Initiatives Elevate Youth Work  & Program Quality: 2002-2012

2002

With funding from the Mott Foundation, the Forum  publishes the Out of School Time Policy Commentary Series (2002-2011).

With funding from the Gates Foundation, the Forum manages California’s High School Pupil Success Act, a public-private venture working with 11 school districts across the state developing school/community partnerships.

2004

The Forum publishes the Creating Good Schools Observation Tool.

2005

2005

Ready by 21 key ideas are developed with the launch of the first Ready by 21 Learning Group focused on a whole child/whole community approach.

The Next Generation Youth Work Coalition is housed at the Forum from 2005-2007.

2007

The Forum publishes Building Quality Improvement Systems and Measuring  Youth Program Quality: A Guide to Assessment Tools.  The YPQI was highlighted as the best in field.  The report is updated in  2009.

The Quality Counts initiative provides an opportunity to combine the Forum’s Ready by 21 ideas, training  and partnership technical assistance with the Weikart Center’s quality improvement systems approach.

The Forum begins offering Ready by 21 Institutes in DC and across the country.

2008

The Ready by 21 National Partnership is launched with mobilization and technical partners, including internal partners such as the Children’s Cabinet Network and the Weikart Center.

2009

As the Quality Counts initiative wraps up, local partners are co-convened with the Ready by 21 Southeast Challenge sites.  A number of communities continue their quality work as part of the Ready by 21 Southeast Challenge.

2010

The Ready by 21 Quality Improvement and Asset-Building Challenge helps selected communities align afterschool services with youth needs.

2011

The 1st Ready by 21 National Meeting is held in Nashville, launching an annual cross-systems learning event bridging research, policy, practice, and partnerships.

In partnership with the National Collaboration for Youth, the Forum publishes Invitation to the Big Picture: Implementing a Local Collaboration for Youth in Your Community.

2012

The Forum’s policy and program teams continue to publish a broad range of resources for the field. The program team partners with the Weikart Center on the Wallace-funded publication Building Citywide Systems for Quality and the WT Grant-funded From Soft Skills to Hard Data: Measuring Youth Program Outcomes.

#OneOrg:  Strengthening Connections for the Future: 2015-2019

2015

Karen Pittman joins the SEAD Commission, leading the consensus on what it takes to support the social, emotional, and academic well-being of children and youth.

The Weikart Center launches SEL work in partnership with the Susan Crowne Exchange. These efforts parallel much of Weikart’s longstanding work on quality point-of-service delivery, environments, and learning.

2016

The Big Picture Approach (BPA) and Weikart  teams are engaged by the Wallace Foundation to shape work with six communities involved in the Partnerships for Social Emotional Learning Initiative.

The Policy team develops the Evidence-Based Policy and Practice Initiative, creating proactive strategies to drive the next generation of governmental policy innovations designed to use evidence to improve program quality.

2018

Kim Robinson is named as managing director of the Weikart Center and joins the Forum executive team.

2019

Working across units, the Forum establishes a partnership with Tom Akiva at the University of Pittsburgh. This partnership will facilitate national thought leadership, identify research/practice partnership opportunities, develop micro-credentials, and offer a senior fellows program.

The Forum formally joins the Science of Learning and Development Alliance as a principal partner.

Changing the odds for young people has never been more important