Program Quality News: The Forum’s Trevor Davies Chosen to Be One of Just 15 ‘Afterschool Ambassadors’ in the Country This Year

The Perry Preschool Project: A 50 Year Research Study

You may have heard it on your way to work a while ago: the Perry Preschool Project was highlighted during a discussion on NPR’s Morning Edition.

The Perry Preschool Project began as a research study seeking to answer whether access to high-quality education could have a positive impact on preschool children and the communities where they live. Under the visionary research guidance of psychologist David Weikart and the extraordinary dedication of Perry Elementary School principal Charles Eugene Beatty, 123 preschool children with risk factors for failing in school were randomly divided into two groups. One group entered a high-quality preschool program based on HighScope’s active learning approach, and a comparison group received no preschool education.

The initial study was conducted from 1962 to 1967, but led to a 50-year longitudinal study as researchers continue to follow the Perry Preschool participants throughout their lives in this landmark study that forever changed the trajectory of early education. In 1970, The Perry Preschool Project inspired Weikart to establish the HighScope Education Research Foundation and the HighScope Demonstration Preschool in 1971, which still serves 3- to 5-year-olds in a full-day program.

Weikart’s commitment to active learning was not limited to preschoolers. In 1963, he and his wife established an educational camp for teens to demonstrate the transformative impact of a positive youth development approach. Numerous Forum staff, including the Forum’s president & CEO, had the opportunity to work with Weikart at the camp. This groundbreaking approach was used with Michigan school districts in the 1980s to engage underachieving low-income students. The trainings, tools, and longitudinal research from this adolescent work underpins the work here at the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality.

To learn more, read a recent evidence review of the project and stay tuned for future commentary on this important work.

The Forum’s Trevor Davies Chosen to Be One of Just 15 ‘Afterschool Ambassadors’ in the Country This Year

The Afterschool Alliance recently announced that Trevor Davies, Senior Manager here at the Forum for Youth Investment’s Weikart Center, has been selected to serve as an Afterschool Ambassador for the Afterschool Alliance in 2019-2020. He is one of 15 leaders in the United States, and one of two in Michigan, chosen for the honor this year. Ambassadors will continue their work supporting local afterschool programs while serving the one-year Afterschool Ambassador term, organizing public events, communicating with policy makers and community leaders, and in other ways increasing awareness and support for afterschool and summer learning programs.

Read the press release here.

Save the Date and Share Your Story at the 9th Annual Ready by 21 National Meeting

The Forum for Youth Investment is now accepting workshop proposals for the Ready by 21 National Meeting being held in Louisville, Kentucky, on April 15-17, 2020, and we encourage you to submit your ideas!

As you’ll see in the Request for Proposals, the workshops are designed to help participants dig deeper into the effective partnerships, practices and policies that states and communities are implementing to improve outcomes for young people. Click here for guidance into the four meeting themes:

  • Ensuring Readiness for college, work, and life, by building competencies, abilities, and mindsets.
  • Promoting Equity for all young people, especially closing gaps for populations often facing great challenges (e.g., boys & young men of color, opportunity youth, youth in foster care, pregnant & parenting youth) and creating equitable learning environments for all.
  • Improving Program and Practice Quality and effectiveness in ways that spark management & staff engagement and support better outcomes for young people.
  • Increasing Shared Commitment to changing the odds for young people through common goals, strategies and measures within and across systems & sectors.

The deadline for submission is Friday, November 1 at 5:00 PM ET. For more information and to review the 2019 National Meeting agenda for ideas, please visit the Ready by 21 National Meeting website.


Using Data to Strengthen Afterschool Planning, Management, and Strategy: Lessons from Eight Cities

A recent report in The Wallace Foundation’s Knowledge Center examines eight cities’ efforts to strengthen their afterschool systems by garnering reliable information for decision making, program improvement, and advocacy. “Using Data to Strengthen Afterschool Planning, Management, and Strategy: Lessons from Eight Cities” describes how coalitions across public, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors worked to develop, operate, and use data systems to improve afterschool programs in their communities.

Read the report here.

Prime Time Palm Beach County’s “Choose a High-Quality Afterschool Program” Tip Sheet

This school year, Prime Time Palm Beach County has provided families with a tip sheet to help them assess the level of quality that exists in their child’s afterschool program. The “Choose a High-Quality Afterschool Program” tip sheet offers 10 suggested considerations when choosing an afterschool program to help in the decision making.

Check it out here!


2019 Bridge Conference: Looking Back, Facing Forward

Register now to attend Schools’ Out Washington’s 2019 Bridge Conference. The conference will take place October 28-29, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington at Seattle’s Southport in Renton, WA. This year’s theme, Looking Back, Facing Forward, will explore the importance of culture and the role it plays in shaping and empowering young people and their communities.

2019 Opportunity Youth Network Summit: Amplifying the Impact

The Forum for Youth Investment and the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions will be hosting the seventh annual 2019 Opportunity Youth Network Summit: Amplifying the Impact, November 13-14 in Washington, D.C. This event brings together government, philanthropic, business, nonprofit, and young leaders to jointly shape national priorities and advance collaborative efforts for and by the Opportunity Youth field. While this event focuses on national actions, local and state organizations and advocates who want to help shape and participate in national activities are most welcome to join.

Learn more and register.

Moving from Research to Implementation in Social and Emotional Learning: Exploring the Kernels of Practice with Stephanie Jones

Join Forum President & CEO Karen Pittman as she sits down with Stephanie Jones, professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education at Harvard University and director of EASEL Lab, to discuss the January 2017 report, “Kernels of Practice for SEL: Low-Cost, Low-Burden Strategies.” This discussion will explore lessons learned to date about how effective these practices are and how this more flexible, cost-effective approach to practice improvement can contribute to giving more adults in more settings the confidence and skills they need to support SEL.

This free webinar will take place on October 30 from 2:00-3:00 PM ET. Register now!


Providence After School Alliance (PASA) is Hiring!

PASA is seeking a full-time Director of Quality Initiatives to oversee the management and ongoing evolution of PASA’s continuous quality improvement cycle, rooted in ongoing professional development and data-informed decision making. Click here to read more about this opportunity and how to apply.