Ready News: August 23, 2021

Opportunity Youth Congressional Liaison Program

The Reconnecting Youth Campaign recently launched the Opportunity Youth Congressional Liaison Program. This 3-month program looks to equip Opportunity Youth with the skills and tools they need to directly advocate to lawmakers. This is a paid opportunity for young people that has been intentionally built for 16- to 26-year-olds who are neither enrolled in school nor employed in order to level up their advocacy skills and connect them to others in the Opportunity Youth and youth equity space.

Please join us in launching this program by sharing the word and encouraging any young people interested in advocacy to apply! Applications are open from now until September 13th, 2021.

Learn more about the program.

From the Field: Ready. Set. Summer!

Readiness Projects Blog by Katherine Plog-Martinez, Consultant, The Forum for Youth Investment 

This summer has drawn more attention than any other I can recall to the need for summer learning opportunities to strike a balance between academics, enrichment, social emotional learning, health and well-being, and fun. Though engaging students in programs that find this balance has never been more important or in demand, doing it well requires not just monetary investment, but a commitment to partnership, collaboration, and coordination.

We’ve been tracking and sharing with you Tulsa’s journey to Build Forward Together to become a city of learning since March. With a strong foundation of and commitment to partnership, Tulsa Public Schools and The Opportunity Project saw this summer as a key opportunity to make a significant down-payment on their broader vision. They knew their goals were ambitious (access to summer programming for any interested TPS student) and that crunched planning time would present challenges (standing up new funding structures and program models in just three months), but the potential was immense and the need for students even greater.

Read more.

Using ARP Funds to Redesign Schools for Whole Child Equity

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act provides unprecedented funding that can be used immediately to build toward a new school year and over the next several years to seed long-term change. These essential resources can and should be used by states and districts to establish equitable, whole-child learning environments that can accelerate COVID recovery, improve education equity, and redesign education systems such that all students can thrive.

To help guide states and districts to build ARP plans consistent with the science of learning and development, the SoLD Alliance has released an initial set of state and local policy recommendations on how to use ARP funds to redesign schools for whole child equity.

Read the new brief.

Building Back Stronger: Using SEL Resources to Enrich Your OST Program

National AfterSchool Association, Committee for Children, and the Forum’s Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality Webinar 

August 26, 2:00-2:45 PM EDT 

As out-of-school time (OST) providers plan for the new school year, many are looking to social-emotional learning (SEL) to respond to the needs of children, staff, and the communities they serve.

In this webinar, leaders from the National AfterSchool Association, Committee for Children, and the Forum’s Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality will discuss the importance of SEL in OST programs. Topics will include:

·    How the traumatic events of recent years have affected kids and how SEL can help

·    The concept of holistic SEL and how it relates to the importance of SEL in OST environments

·    The Weikart Center’s SEL Program Quality Assessment (SEL PQA) as a resource to strengthen your program

·    Second Step® Out-of-School Time, a practical, research-based SEL program from Committee for Children that helps support K–5 children in your community

Register now.

National Family Engagement Summit

Hybrid Conference Presented by the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement  

October 13 – 15, 2021 

The National Family Engagement Summit presented by the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement provides an opportunity to learn how others are adapting and advancing their practices in response to the pandemic, share your experiences, and reconnect with colleagues. Participants will reimagine what family engagement looks like in this new world.

Strategies to promote equitable family engagement practices will be shared along with best practices for connecting with families in a virtual environment.

Learn more and register.