Program Quality News: Ready by 21 is Just Around the Corner!

The Ready by 21 National Meeting is Right Around the Corner!

In just two short weeks, we will be heading to Seattle, Washington, for the 8th annual Ready by 21 National Meeting. Every year, the National Meeting brings together hundreds of leaders from around the country who are working to get all young people ready by 21 – for college, work and life. These leaders have dedicated themselves to improving the odds for children and youth through collective impact initiatives, policy alignment and program quality improvement. You’ll hear strategies, research and stories about partnering for better impact, aligning policies, improving program quality and performance, and embracing readiness in the pursuit of equity.

On Tuesday, April 23, we’ll be hosting a pre-meeting with School’s Out Washington, Essentials for Youth Readiness: Equity & SEL, open to network and program leaders working to support environments where young people learn. The full day pre-session will feature a keynote delivered by Dr. Kira Hudson Banks and include two rounds of workshops that will offer engaging training and conversations around equity and structural racism as a necessary lens to supporting SEL with young people.

Register now to join us April 23-25, 2019 in Seattle. We hope to see you there!


Preparing Children to Thrive: Standards for Social and Emotional Learning Practices in School-Age Settings

A new guide from the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality and the Forum for Youth Investment, “Preparing Children to Thrive: Standards for Social and Emotional Learning Practices in School-Age Settings,” is designed to help organizational and program leaders see clearly what social and emotional learning (SEL) among children (ages 5-13) would look like and feel like in real program settings. The guide also draws attention to promising adult practices for building SEL skills among children, along with curriculum features at an organizational level that support implementation of SEL programs.

This guide, and the study that led to it, were designed to complement a previous effort, Preparing Youth to Thrive (2016), which focused on developing SEL standards and indicators for adolescents from the ground up with the help of eight exemplary programs around the country. This study identified SEL concepts in six broad domains: Emotion Management, Empathy, Teamwork, Initiative, Responsibility and Problem Solving.

The release of Preparing Youth to Thrive prompted a critical question: can the standards and indicators that were developed for adolescents be used in work with younger children? This new guide explores that question.

Download the guide.


Every Hour Counts National Institute

Every Hour Counts is hosting its National Systems-Building Institute in collaboration with the Denver Afterschool Alliance on November 7-8, 2019. During the two-day event in Denver, Colo., you will explore how to bring high quality expanded learning opportunities to scale in your community, hear from innovator’s experiences building systems and have a chance to connect with peers tackling similar challenges.

To save a spot for your team, email Ally Margolis.

Capacity Building

Wondering how to support your programs this summer? Our SLPQI Assessor Coach training prepares participants to lead their summer program through a quality improvement process including data collection, coaching and improvement planning with data.

Summer Learning Program Quality Intervention (SLPQI) Assessor Coach

If you are interested in attending a capacity building training in the future, fill out this form so we can contact you when opportunities are available.

Partner Appreciations

April 22-26 is Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week! We are happy to join the National AfterSchool Assocation to celebrate the professionals that are at the heart of afterschool programs. We recognize the energy and dedication that you bring to your program settings, as well as your importance to the 10.2 million children that participate in afterschool programs in the United States. Thank you for all you do to help young people succeed!

For details about how to join the effort and ways to show your appreciation, access the Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week Toolkit here.

Look to this section of Program Quality News to join us in celebrating the achievements of our partners in the field! By sharing the inspiring work being done in out-of-school time settings, we hope to continue strengthening the community of organizations and individuals that are working to change the odds for young people. If you have successes you’d like to share, please email We look forward to celebrating with you!


David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality

It’s an exciting time at the Forum for Youth Investment and we’d love for you to join us!

Current Openings in Ypsilanti, Mich.:

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Research Assistant
  • Research Associate

Learn more about these positions.